Bollywood biggies to help Shabana Azmi with her girl child project in UP

Mumbai, January 13 (Agencies): Girls in a small village in Uttar Pradesh have found unlikely allies in Bollywood. Industry biggies, including Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar and Farhan Akhtar, will walk the ramp later this month to raise funds for the education of girl children in rural India. The proceeds from the fashion show will go to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Mijwan, a village in Uttar Pradesh.
“I am very happy to support the cause of the girl child in rural areas,” Roshan said. “I believe that when I support a cause I get enriched by the experience because it sensitises me to the plight of those less privileged. A mere Rs6,000 helps a child go to school for an entire year while we blow up 10 times that amount at a restaurant in a single night.” Actress/activist Shabana Azmi’s lyricist father Kaifi Azmi was born and brought up in Mijwan. “Abba had started the Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), which works towards empowering girl children through education and job opportunities,” Azmi said.
She insisted that she was merely taking forward her father’s unfinished project. There was a time when village girls had no access to education and were married off at an early age, she said. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of MWS, the village now boasts of a high school, a girl’s college, a computer centre, and sewing and embroidery classes.” Kapoor, who is impressed by the NGO’s achievements, is thinking of visiting Mijwan in April before the school closes for the annual summer vacation.
“This is my way of paying tribute to a rare and great man like Kaifi saab who practised what he preached,” he said. “We need to turn our attention towards rural India where 80% of the population lives. Our focus should be on empowering the girl child.” This year the girl students in Mijwan will having a fashion show under the guidance of designer Manish Malhotra. Last year, designer Anita Dongre had mentored them. Malhotra said that he would outsource all his chikankari work to artisans in Mijwan.