Shah Rukh Khan, who was honoured with the Crystal Award organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Monday evening, made a touching speech at the event. The Bollywood superstar was honoured for his 'leadership in championing children's and women's rights in India'.
Through his non-profitable Meer Foundation, Shah Rukh Khan provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support. Apart from Shah Rukh, Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett and musician Sir Elton John were also honoured for their "commitment to improving the state of the world.
Shah Rukh Khan delivering speech at WEF
"To disfigure a woman by throwing acid on her face, to me, is one of the basest, crudest acts of subjugation imaginable. At the source of it lies the view that a woman does not have the right to assert her choice, say no to the advances of a man or a group of people. And yet, each of the women I met, I found within them the courage to move on with their lives and reject the idea of victimhood," SRK said in his speech at the ceremony.
Shah Rukh Khan receives Crystal Award by Hilde Schwab
Meer Foundation facilitates several on-field projects, knowledge-sharing initiatives and campaigns, awareness models, research and advocacy. SRK has also been responsible for creating specialised children's hospital wards and has supported childcare centres with free boarding for children undergoing cancer treatment, said an HT report.
British musician Elton John, Shah Rukh Khan and Australian actress Cate Blanchett at the Crystal Awards ceremony
"When I journeyed through the life of these heroic women and children through the work of Meer Foundation, I experienced a complete reversal of perspective. I stumbled upon the truth that there are no benefactors and beneficiaries between living beings anymore," Khan said in his speech.
Shah Rukh Khan at Davos in Switzerland
The Meer Foundation's official website states its vision as "Empowered Women. Empowered Society". The mission of the foundation, as per the website, is "To enable, enhance and encourage - empower women by making them feel appreciated and inspired, and to foster humility, pride and gallantry among the men in their lives. To tap into the bravery, warmth and optimism that exists within us all."
Among the several NGOs and foundations Meer is associated with, Sankara Nehtralaya, Make-a-wish, Smile Foundation, Nanavati Hospital and National Burns Centre.