Taking forward her father, Kaifi Azmi’s dream, Shabana Azmi has organized the fundraiser show, Mijwan, this year for the village of Mijwan in Uttar Pradesh where her father was born. Kaifi Azmi founded the NGO, Mijwan Welfare Society and it is Shabana’s turn to take the baton forward. She managed to rope in some of Bollywood’s hottest names to walk the ramp for her fashion show. Fashion designer Manish Malhotra designed the outfits for the show and has also has adopted Mijwan for a whole year, giving employment for the chikankari workers there.
Here’s what the stars had to say about ‘Mijwan: Sonnets In Fabric’:
Hrithik Roshan’s connection with the Azmi’s spans a few generations. “Kaifi Saheb who founded the NGO has worked with my grandfather Roshan Saheb, Shabana aunty has been a school friend of my dad, I’m working with Zoya Akhtar in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara so its really a relationship spanning three generations. 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,” he said.
Quoting from his personal life, Ranbir Kapoor said, “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! It is heartening that Shabana Azmi and her godchild Namrata Goyal are taking Kaifi Saheb’s dream forward. 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.”
Manish Malhtora’s mood changes were visible on Twitter.com. From hectic to excited, Manish was over the moon with 24 stars walking the ramp for him. “When I give work to the girls in Mijwan it is a win-win situation for both. I give them employment and they give me their craft which is outstanding by all measures so I can showcase the best of India’s traditional heritage,” the designer said.
Wrapped in a Manish Malhotra sari with a brocade-sleeved blouse, Shabana Azmi kept hubby Javed Akhtar and mother Shaukat Azmi company throughout the event. The jubilant actress remembered her reasons for taking up the cause, “ I was 4 months old when my mother, Shaukat Kaifi ,used to strap me on her back and take me to Prithvi Theatres where she worked as an actor. She adored Prithviraj Kapoor and was very touched when Ranbir Kapoor came home and touched her feet. It’s a full circle for her.” she said. “All the stars walking the ramp for my Mijwan benefit are giving me such good vibes. Big hug to all and to Manish Malhotra’s indefatigable energy,” she tweeted.