Jamil Khan | June 17, 2012
DUBAI: Children with special needs at the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre in Dubai are still going gaga over the recent visit of iconic Bollywood sensation, Salman Khan, to their Centre. Khan’s second visit to Rashid Centre left an indelible impression on the Indian movie superstar. Lauding the Centre and its humanitarian work, he said, “Its development has been in the right direction - truly one of the most remarkable places that I’ve been to.”
Khan was in Dubai to launch his ‘Being Human Clothing Line’ in collaboration with Splash and Iconic chain of stores, which are spread across the GCC and the Middle East.
While the range of attire comprising Khan’s ‘Being Human Clothing Line’ targets youngsters, the star with an unparalleled loyal fan following said that it would also be a source of fundraising for the Being Human Foundation launched by him. The foundation has planned a number of initiatives to address the cause of underprivileged children in India, especially their needs in the education and healthcare areas.
During a meet-the-press event held on Thursday, Khan, in response to a question regarding his visit to the Centre, said, “This is my second visit to the Rashid Centre and what an amazing experience it was for me to spend time with the children with special needs.
“The quality of education and training at the Centre, made possible by well-qualified teachers and facilities of such high standard is clearly evident from the kids being so full of energy and life,” he added.
He further added that he was so impressed with the Rashid Centre that he was mulling the idea of setting up a similar centre in India.
Earlier, Salman Khan, along with Reza Beig, CEO of Splash and Iconic chains of stores, after being welcomed by Maryam Othman, director of the Centre, toured the various sections of the facility.
The special needs children at the centre, hailing from diverse nationalities — including Indians — were thrilled at the presence of Khan in their midst and enjoyed his keen participation in various activities hosted by them.
A highlight of the programme line-up was a play staged by the children, incorporating some of the characters played by Khan in his various blockbusters.
Also, a musical section saw Khan thoroughly enjoying the children’s performances. At one stage, not able to hold himself back to being only a part of the audience, the movie superstar spontaneously joined the kids as he sang and clapped along with gay abandon.
The atmosphere became charged with emotion when the time came for Khan to say goodbye to the kids. Even as one of the students implored him to stay behind for a longer period, another girl broke down, forcing the actor to return in order to spend some moments with her.
Before leaving, Khan’s entourage paid a visit to the Centre’s swimming pool, and later to the gymnasium, where he was engaged in a game of football with the children.
This visit of Khan to Rashid Centre, after his first one in 2003, was extremely successful, marked as it was by a much greater degree of interaction between the superstars and the special needs kids.
Maryam Othman expressed her deep appreciation to the Bollywood star, thanking him for his kind gesture towards the special needs children. She said memories of his visit would remain in the kids’ hearts forever.
Othman also lauded Khan’s proposal to shoot a music video with the special needs kids, with a view to highlight the humanitarian work being done by the Centre and raising awareness about these children among the community.