x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

SRK raises Dh30,000 for special needs children

Indian movie star raises money at auction, despite arriving a few minutes before midnight and spending only 30 minutes at charity dinner.

DUBAI // Indian movie star Shah Rukh Khan raised Dh30,000 toward building a workshop for children with special needs from Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre at an auction on Monday night.

Khan also danced with hearing-impaired students and strode down the ramp to cheers from the audience who had paid between Dh1,000 to Dh2,000 for the charity dinner.

The money was raised in about 10 minutes when fans bid for an action figure collectible from Khan’s new movie Ra.One that was autographed by the crew.

The actor was in Dubai for a day yesterday for the world premiere of his biggest-ever science fiction superhero movie.

“This is extremely touching; this is the best part of the whole movie that we have made,” said Khan, after a group of nine boys and girls from the Rashid centre performed a dance to the song Chammak Chalo.

“We love you, we love being here in Dubai.”

Khan then got up on stage, asked for the song to be played again as he swiveled his hips and asked the young children on stage to copy his tricky dance moves.

“The children are so excited, they are flying high,” said Mohammed Yunnes, a teacher from the Rashid Centre.

“They are big fans so it was like their dream to dance with him.”

The movie made with a budget of Dh73 million has been timed for Diwali, the Indian festival of lights that is celebrated tomorrow.

Khan plays a blue-eyed superhero G.One or the Good One who uses powerful bolts of electricity to fight a villain Ra.One, played by Arjun Rampal.

Khan, Rampal along with Indian actresses Kareena Kapoor and Shahana Goswami signed autographs and shook hands with fans who yelled out their name at the charity dinner at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai.

But several fans were disappointed that Khan made an appearance a few minutes before midnight and spent a breezy 30 minutes at the dinner after fans waited for two-and-a-half hours.

“There are children here - it’s unfair to keep anyone waiting for so long,” said Mohan Sharma, a long-time fan from Ajman who was at the dinner with his family.

“OK in the end everyone was happy to see him, but why make people wait?”

rtalwar@thenational.ae