The film fraternity turned up in large numbers to celebrate the 6th year of the Annual Mijwan fundraiser fashion show by designer Manish Malhotra in Mumbai on Sunday. Named the ‘Mijwan Summer Couture 2017,’ the fashion show was held under the aegis of the Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), an NGO, established by the late poet, Kaifi Azmi that works for the empowerment of villagers of Mijwan in the Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.
The event was attended by Bollywood stars like Neetu Singh, Sridevi, Ramesh Sippy with wife Kiran Juneja, Sushmita Sen, Farah Khan, Anupam Kher, Huma Qureshi, Sooraj Pancholi, Sangeeta Bijlani, Saiyami Kher, Konkona Sen Sharma, Amyra Dastur, Punit Malhotra, Shriya Saran, Satish Kaushik, Kiran Rao, Nandita Das, Freddy Daruwala and others. To add to it, Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma walked the ramp for Manish. The entire evening was dedicated to an NGO that works for female empowerment and education. The chikankari work done by the girls from Mijwan on the outfits was hugely appreciated.
“My father believed that India’s remarkable economic progress can only be meaningful if it reaches rural India, where 80 per cent of the population lives, but is denied access to opportunity, said actress Shabana Azmi, daughter of the late poet. “Once, I asked him, ‘Abba, don’t you get frustrated when change doesn’t occur at the pace you want it to?’ He answered with equanimity, ‘Bete, when you are working for change, you should build into that expectation the possibility that the change might not happen in your lifetime. But you must have the conviction that if you carry on working with dedication then the change is bound to occur – even if it happens after you.’ His prophetic words have become my mantra in the work that I do with the weak and the dispossessed. When Kaifi Saheb embarked on the journey alone, Mijwan did not even figure on the map of India. Today Mijwan is known all over the world,” she added.
Elaborated Azmi’s godchild, Namrata Goyal, who is actively involved in the project, “Nana (Kaifi Azmi) always believed in the youth to be the catalyst for change. We the youth have always taken our lives for granted – almost assumed a sense of entitlement. It’s time we take responsibility and realise villages don’t belong to another planet. They complete us.”