Bollywood red carpet glamour will dazzle fans in this New Year, with the unlikely duo, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Karisma Kapoor, expected to share a stage in Dubai for an awards event honouring women achievers.
Ex flame Kapoor and the current wife of Abhishek Bachchan look set to face the paparazzi at the Petrochem Gr8! Women Awards 2013, which will be held on February 7 at the Madinat Jumeirah and coordinated by Chocolate Entertainment.
Also expected to feature at the star-studded event are industry veterans and glamour queens, Shabana Azmi, Malaika Arora Khan, Juhi Chawla and Zarine Khan, amongst others.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Annu Ranjan, President of the Indian Television Academy, which organises the awards, said: “This is the third year the awards will be hosted in the region, with special honours for women from the Middle East who have achieved great things across all walks of life.
“This year, representatives will attending from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Yemen and Jordan, all those who have continued to inspire the community with their actions and achievements.
“I would like to reiterate, these accolades are not just for celebrities who have some kind of birth right on all awards handed out.”
The Gr8! Woman Awards are celebrating 12 years in India this year, with Ranjan saying that what had started in its first year as a small tribute to some big names across four categories now benefits 25 industry players across all walks of life.
Previous winners have included Aishwarya, Vidya Balan, Nita Ambani (wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani), television Czarina Ekta Kapoor, Maharani Gayatri Devi and many more.
Explaining the nomination process, Ranjan said: “Throughout the year, we have market research companies contact us, along with a three member committee set up by us to trawl through the media to select names that we believe deserve to be honoured for their contributions.”
She added: “While some say otherwise, we do believe Bollywood plays an integral part in creating public awareness through their fame. And considering this year we are celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema, it just seemed fitting that 2013 recognises these role models for who they are.”
The awards are also associated with a charity initiative, titled ‘Beti’ or ‘Daughter’, which seeks women empowerment and provides medical, financial or educational assistance for the underprivileged in India.
“In the past, we have supported the cause of female foeticide; but what we achieved in seven years was given a boost in seven minutes when Aamir Khan lent support to the cause on his show ‘Satyamev Jayate’,” she said. “That is celebrity support for you.”
Currently, under the ‘Beti’ initiative, Ranjan is looking to distribute pepper sprays to ladies for free at an event in Mumbai on January 14, in light of the recent events in New Delhi that saw a young 23-year-old succumb to injuries last month after a brutal gang rape aboard a moving bus that has sparked outage across India.