Veteran actor Dilip Kumar will receive an unusual present on his 88th birthday this year. Present and former students of GN Khalsa College, of which the actor is the oldest surviving ex-student, will donate 88 bottles of blood to the Sion hospital and Tata Memorial Institute for Cancer, to commemorate his special day.
Ajit Singh, principal, GN Khalsa College says, “The blood donation drive is a prayer for his good health and long life. We will also organise a hockey match between a team from the college and a team comprising of all the ex-students on Saturday, since Mr Kumar was an avid hockey player.”
A small group of college representatives will then present Kumar with a symbolic drop of blood made of styrofoam at his residence.
The amount of blood that will be donated by over 500 students will be equivalent of Kumar’s body weight. “The idea was to re-invent how the alumni is felicitated. We have always had events where we have studied his work and cinema, this drive is just an extension of that,” says Kiran Kaur (20), a final year student of the college and a huge fan of the actor, who will most willingly participate in the drive.
The college that has been around since 1937 is the city’s first ever private institute. According to Singh, Kumar passed out of the college around the 1940s and has since then made the college proud, year after another. “Apart from the blood drop, we will also present to him some old pictures and memoirs of him that the college has had in its archives. The rest will be put up around the campus. When we mentioned this idea to Mr Kumar, he was absolutely thrilled and excited,” says Singh, who also plans on naming the college hall after Kumar.