Davos: Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan thanks after receiving a Crystal Award during a ceremony on the eve of annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos | Photo: AP/PTI
Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan received the 24th Annual Crystal Award at the world economic forum in Davos on Monday for his leadership in championing children’s and women’s rights in India.
He received the award along with actor Cate Blanchett and singer-songwriter Elton John.
Receiving the award, Khan applauded Blanchett -- who was honoured with the award just before him -- for being the queen of billions of hearts, including his own.
Similar to earlier stage appearances, Khan was at his wittiest best at Davos, especially when he asked actress Cate Blanchett for a selfie publicly and immediately quipped that it may leave his children embarrassed, sending the audience into peals of laughter.
He talked extensively about his social initiative, Meer Foundation, which he has named after his father, and the reason for the same.
The Foundation provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support.
"To disfigure a woman by throwing acid on her face, to me, is one of the basest, crudest acts of subjugation imaginable. At the source of it lies the view that a woman does not have the right to assert her choice, say no to the advances of a man or a group of people," Khan said.
He went on to say how the victims taught him how courage can catalyse victimhood into heroism, how "solidarity -- rather than charity – enables the human will to overcome, how equality is not a concept but a truth that encompasses all living beings, how service of others is not a choice anymore for any of us but it is a duty that all of us must fulfill in the name of humankind".
The star has also been responsible for the creation of specialised children's hospital wards and has supported childcare centres with free boarding for children undergoing cancer treatment.
The cine star thanked his late mother, wife and his daughter for inspiring him.
"I would like to thank my sister (Shehnaz Lalarukh Khan), my wife (Gauri Khan) and my little daughter (Suhana Khan) for bringing me up well and teaching me the value of requesting, sometimes imploring, and may I add, sometimes even begging a yes from a woman instead of forcing it upon her," he said.
On being asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic speech, at the World Economic Forum (WEF), earlier in the day, Shah Rukh asserted that he was inspired by his speech, especially on terrorism and his plans to make the country a top business destination, as well as ensuring better standards of living.
The actor also praised Prime Minister Modi's decision on making India a global business hub, despite the slowdown of the world economy in recent times.
"Our PM said 'Hum yahan apne logon ka danka bajane aaye hain' (We are going to make our people famous). He pointed out globalisation is losing sheen and India was the only bright spot. India can reclaim its hub back very soon.", Shah Rukh said.
The Bollywood actor heaped praises on Prime Minister Modi's presence in the WEF since 1997.
"It is a matter of pride for all of us, that for the first time in 20 years, we have a PM who came and represented our country at the global level," Shah Rukh concluded.
Later, sharing the dais with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, after the unveiling of the Magnetic Maharashtra summit in Davos, Shah Rukh said, "New policies will create a digital environment, which will be favourable to young India. Our country will be technologically advanced and lakhs of youths would be benefitted as well."
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