Veteran actress Shabana Azmi has always been closely associated with charitable and social work and this time too she along with her godchild Namrata Goyal has once again put together a fund-raising fashion show. Called Mijwan- Sonnets in Fabric, this is a fashion show with a difference whereby the funds collected will be utilised for the empowerment of the girl child in rural India. The fashion show scheduled to take place in Mumbai on Jan 23 is likely to witness a lot of Bollywood bigwigs who will be participating and walking the ramp for this noble cause.
Some of the big names who have confirmed their presence include Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar, Tusshar Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Shilpa Shetty, Sushmita Sen, Amrita Rao, Anushka Sharma, Celina Jaitley, Dia Mirza, Kunal Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Lara Dutta, Monikangana, Neha Dhupia, Prateik Babbar, Raima Sen, Ranveer Singh, Rohit Roy, Sameera Reddy, Sandhya Mridul and Shazahn Padamsee.
Talking about this gala event, Shabana Azmi said, "Mijwan is a tiny village in UP where my father Kaifi Azmi was born. He founded the NGO and I have taken on the task of taking his dream forward. Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS) runs Kaifi Azmi High School and College for girls, Kaifi Azmi Computer Training Centre and Kaifi Azmi Sewing and Tailoring Centre. After the phenomenal success of Mijwan- Sonnets in Fabric event last year where 22 top film-stars attended, my NGO Mijwan Welfare Society's benefit event has snowballed into an even bigger fund raiser this year."
Speaking about this year's event, Shabana said, "We have 25 stars walking the ramp with outfits designed by Manish Malhotra. Manish has even adopted Mijwan for a whole year to begin with and will give our chikankari workers there a whole year's work. Ranbir Kapoor was brought on board last year in April by my godchild and youth president of MWS 21 year old Namrata Goyal. Ranbir is a true child of his parents Rishi and Neetu who are dear friends of mine. He has joined hands with MWS to further our mission of empowering rural India with a focus on the girl child. He has committed to visiting Mijwan in the near future inspite of being neck-deep busy with his work. With his association we hope to mobilise a lot of support from the youth.
“50 percent of India is under the age of 25 years. All over the world, the youth has been in the forefront of change. Ranbir will inspire them to make a commitment to social change. All the stars I approached have come on board with no questions asked. They are role models and when they throw their weight behind a cause it leads to immense awareness on the issue. I am indebted to each one of them. This is going to be the most phenomenal Fashion show ever!"
Speaking about his association, Ranbir Kapoor said, "We, the young people of India need to turn our attention towards rural India where 80 percent of the population lives with a focus on empowering the girlchild. By associating with Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), an NGO founded by the extraordinary poet lyricist Kaifi Azmi, I am paying my tribute to a rare poet who practised what he preached, "Pyar ka jashn nai tarha manana hoga Gam kisi dil mein sahi Gam ko mitana hoga" My parents raised my sister Riddhima and me without any discrimination.
“If anything, I used to feel my sister got a better deal because she was the elder child and a girl! I truly believe that the yardstick of a civilised society is the degree to which its women are empowered. I am happy to join hands with MWS which is working to provide equal opportunity to the girl child through education, training and employment generation. It is heartening that Shabana Azmi and her godchild Namrata Goyal are taking Kaifi Saab's dream forward."
Hrithik Roshan, who will also be part of the fashion-show fund-raiser, said, "I am very happy to lend my support to Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS) that seeks to empower the girl child in rural India. Kaifi Saab, who founded the NGO, has worked with my grandfather Roshan Saab, Shabana aunty has been a school friend of my dad, I'm working with Zoya so it's really a relationship spanning three generations.
“But even more importantly 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. For a mere Rs. 6000, a girlchild in Mijwan can get through school for a whole year! We blow up 10 times that amount at a restaurant in one night! The disparity is numbing. The girl child needs a level playing field, equal opportunity through education and it's wonderful that after Kaifi Saab passed away Shabana aunty is taking his dream forward."