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IIFA bats for a cause

A day before the Indian International Film Academy Awards 2010, Indian celebrities will play a charitable cricket match against Sri Lankan cricketers to rehablitate Sri Lankan refugees.

entertainment Updated: May 13, 2010 15:34 IST
Manali Shah

Salman KhanA day before the Indian International Film Academy Awards 2010, Indian celebrities will play a charitable cricket match against Sri Lankan cricketers.



Salman Khan is the ‘Ambassador of Change’ for this initiative. Speaking about his association, Salman says, "I support IIFA’s initiative to give back to the Sri Lankan people, due to the recent hardships they have faced. I believe that it is crucial to make a difference and contribute to this worthy cause. IIFA has successfully built bridges between countries over the last decade, and I hope this initiative will do the same for Sri Lanka. I am happy to be an ‘Ambassador for Change’."

Proceeds from the charity match will go towards rebuilding a village in Sri Lanka that houses refugees. Also, former child-soldiers will be rehabilitated and educated. They will also get a chance to volunteer at the IIFA awards. The village will be eco-friendly with solar cookers and heaters.

IIFA Awards 2010 will take place in Colombo, Sri Lanka on June 5. Once again, Lara Dutta, Riteish Deshmukh and Boman Irani will be hosting the award ceremony.

Lara Dutta, who will be hosting the awards for the fourth time, says, “I am very excited because it shows the audience another side of actors. A lot of our dialogues are spontaneous. IIFA is helping people displaced by the Tsunami and the civil war. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, I have been there several times and look forward to being there again.”

Boman Irani, says, “We feel like the three idiots of IIFA but instead of three guys, we have the beautiful Lara Dutta with us. I have been to Sri Lanka for advertisement shoots many years ago.” The trio said they will spoof a lot of films and actors, but it should all be taken in jest.

IIFA has tied up with Habitat for Humanity for this cause. UNICEF and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board are associated with the charity match.

Tamils protest
Amitabh Bachchan has upset the Tamil community for choosing Sri Lanka as the venue for the next IIFA Awards. On Tuesday morning, people gathered outside Bachchan's home to protest IIFA being hosted in Sri Lanka, a place where several Tamilians have been killed.

The superstar responded by blogging, “The sentiments of all must be respected and I hope that we can plan and execute that with understanding, peace and grace.”

Filmmaker Mani Ratnam won’t premiere Raavan at the IIFA awards. Members of the Tamil film fraternity like Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan and Surya have declined to participate.