Gujarat’s chief minister Narendra Modi, on Monday evening, flagged off an Olympic-like event in Ahmedabad with over 20 lakh kids from different age groups and states participating in various sporting events. Actor Akshay Kumar, along with a bunch of differently-abled kids from the NGO he supports, were invited to participate in all the competition categories alongside regular kids of the same age groups.
“I’m glad this event has sent out a great message to the entire society — don’t differentiate between kids. All of them under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan have the right to study, play and grow up in the same environment, attend the same schools and colleges. For some reason there is a huge divide, which can be blurred with events like this one,” beams Akshay, adding, “It was so overwhelming to see my kids participate in the same sports events and appear on a common platform with other kids without feeling any sense of division based on one’s physical aspects.”
The actor, who has just completed his marathon promotions for Desi Boyz, and will be off to Bangkok tonight to join the rest of the cast of Housefull 2 for the film’s last schedule, says it didn’t take him too long to agree to attend the event. “Thanks to my father, who also had a strong sports background, I have developed an affinity for all kinds of sporting events, whether it’s martial arts, sprinting, boxing or kushti (traditional wrestling).
And if I’m getting a chance to place special children alongside the normal ones and boost their confidence, I’m not a fool to drop it,” he states.
Akshay also spoke to the politico to make martial arts compulsory for school kids in his state. “Modiji has assured me that he will make efforts for it,” he smiles. “And I’m sure he will do it because he seemed very kicked about the idea of incorporating martial arts with basic education. I’ve been speaking to authorities in various states, but this is one of the first ones where I’ve returned with something more concrete than the others.”
‘Party is due’
Akshay Kumar plans to throw a party along with Desi Boyz co-star John Abraham to celebrate the success of the film in Bangkok. The actors will be shooting there with the rest of the Housefull 2 team. “I’ve known Rohit (director Rohit Dhawan) from the time he was a kid. It’s his first success. I’m going to celebrate. But a party separately with the cast is due,” he says.