Bollywood star Aamir Khan, whose recent release 3 Idiots took a critical look at India's education system, says that he gets inspired by stories of real-life heroes who go beyond their limitations to bring change in one's life and in society.
"When I see real heroes and listen to their stories, it really inspires me. I think we have, in different degrees, strengths and abilities," said Aamir presenting an award at the Real Heroes Awards of CNN-IBN and Reliance Industries Limited here on Wednesday.
"When we use our abilities and strengths to better our lives, that's normal but when you use your strength and abilities to help others, you become a real hero," he added.
Irfana Ismail Mujawar, who was honoured in the Education and Children Category, is a teacher by profession. Irfana along her colleague Gazala, used the money set aside for her wedding and started a school that provides free education to those who cannot afford it.
"It was really a long struggle. I started with 34 non-privileged students and now around 350 students are there in my school," Irfana told IANS.
Twenty-four real-life heroes from across six regions of the country were shortlisted and their work classified into categories such as Women's Welfare, Social Welfare, Health and Disability, Youth Education and Children and Sports.
Ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was present on the occasion and received a standing ovation before he gave away the award in the Sports category.
"Real heroes are not ordinary people, they are extraordinary people. They haven't got anything, but they still have the courage to go through all the obstacles, find the solutions and they are selfless. They don't have any expectations. All they want is to see smiles on the faces of people around. We should get inspired from them," Tendulkar said.
Merzaban Patel, who was presented the award in the sports category, is on a mission to hunt for the best hockey talent in the country.
"I am extremely happy to get this award. I would appeal to everyone that they should do something to promote hockey," Merzaban told IANS.
Among those who attended the function were actors Sunil Shetty and Rahul Bose, producer-director Yash Chopra, businessman Mukesh Ambani and the entire Mumbai Indians IPL team.