"I am inspired by Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. I want to become like them. I liked Taare Zameen Par a lot and have seen it several times. Its my dream to work with Aamir. I feel he is a wonderful person and his movies are a source of inspiration," Harsh, a Delhi slum boy, who won the National Award for the Best Child Artiste for his role in I Am Kalam, told PTI during an interview.
I Am Kalam, directed by Nila Madhab Panda, focuses on the issue of child labour. Harsh in the film plays the role of a tea stall boy from Rajasthan who wants to break free the clutches of his employer. In the film he is inspired by former President A P J Abdul Kalam. The film has been produced by Smile Foundation, an NGO. Apart from Harsh the film features Gulshan Grover, Hussan Saad and Beatrice Ordeix. So far the film has won 12 national and international awards. The worldwide theatrical release of the film is scheduled in June-end.
Harsh Mayar, a student of class VII of Yogi Arvind Sarvodya Vidyalaya, started his theatres in 2005. "Since childhood I loved singing and dancing and used to entertain everyone. My uncle got me enrolled with theatre to brush up my acting skills. Since then I had decided I want to become an actor. I would continue with both studies and acting," he said.
When asked about his views on child labour, the 13-year-old reasoned, "There are many children who are working around us. I feel bad when I see them. I remember a four-five year-old boy was working at a Dhaba...and I was thinking why children have to work at such a young age...as it is time for them to study and enjoy their childhood. Though there are few parents who really don't want their children to work but since they cannot afford to provide basic necessities small boys and girls are forced to work. Basically due to financial issues children have to work."
The young boy intends to show the film to his friends from the slum area in-order to motivate them to take up studies. When asked about how it feels to win an award and so much recognition, Harsh says, "I am happy and it feels great to receive an award at a young age. It is a dream come true for me."