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- Dubai 04:53 06:07 12:12 15:35 18:11 19:25
It was a night when ‘women empowerment’ perhaps stole the show on the red carpet, much more than the combined star power of Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra and Nimrat Kaur, who descended onto Dubai in their designer digs to win an award and speak up for… you guessed it.
The ‘Gr8! Women Awards 2015 Middle East’ returned to these shores for the fifth year, awarding the outstanding contributions made by women in various fields including art, cinema, environment, entrepreneurship and education.
‘Dressed from head to toe in Dior’ as she informed us, Alia bagged the award for being a cinematic youth icon.
Speaking about the issue of gender equality she stated: “We are talking about women empowerment today only because they [women] have been told to shut up and sit at home.
“Who knows what we can come up with. So for me women empowerment means to get rid of the fact that we need to stress on the fact that we need to empower women. It should be equal, nothing superior or inferior between men and women.”
Alia, who, aside for her critically acclaimed performance in ‘Highway’, has also been on the receiving end of social media humour and memes for her ‘quotable quotes’ in the press.
When asked who she is the great women achiever in her life, Alia said: “I know it’s a cliché. But my mother and my grandmother.”
Parineeti, who played it safe in a floor length black gown with a diamond-studded brooch, bagged the award for ‘Versatility in Acting’.
Speaking her mind, the young actress gave out a message to women in Dubai, saying: “Women in Dubai and those all over the world no different.
“My advice is, be who you are. It sounds clichéd, I know. But you need to be who you are. Do what you want to do.
“I’m that person. I do what I want to and that makes me happy. Everyone should do the same.”
Asked about the great woman achiever in her life and Parineeti chose the diplomatic route, saying: “It is hard to pick one person. I can be clichéd and say my mother, but I think the simple answer is, people should just learn to respect women; that is a great achiever.”
‘Homeland’s Nimrat Kaur, who looked elegant in a blush pink designer gown, refused to divulge in more titbits of the cliffhanger that left fans hanging when the HBO hit show went on a season break.
She said: “I can’t say anything more because even I don’t know. Every time I would read the next episode, I would cry saying, ‘oh my’ that is what I need to do now? But that said, it’s all really exciting.”
Quizzed whether her film ‘The Lunchbox’ has opened doors for her in Hollywood, the actress did not deny it, saying: “Absolutely, it had everything to do with exposure I got with ‘The Lunchbox’. It’s the greates gift I ever received.”
Nimrat bagged the award last night for ‘Excellence in Cinema International’.
The actress also listed her mother as the great women achiever in her life.
As did Neil Nitin Mukesh, who was there to perform live on stage to a medley of his Bollywood songs.
The actor managed to attract quite a few starry-eyed fans in the audience when he jumped into the crowd and danced with attendees while giving out stuffed toys.
Other performers of the night were Richa Chadda and Dubai’s most frequent travelled celebrity, Surveen Chawla.
Ask the latter actress to name the great women achiever she knows, she said: “It has to be Vidya Balan [Bollywood actress]. Her story is so inspiring to someone like me, who is still trying to get a footing in the film industry.
“She struggled, had doors closed in her face, saw her regional film shelved. But she never gave up. That courage is an achievement.
“Of course, aside from Vidya, also my mother.”
Organised by the Indian Television Academy, as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), the other winners of the night are as follows:
Malak Ali Hassan - Promoting Green Living
Zeina Tabari - Young Achiever
Azza Al Qubaisi - Entrepreneur encouraging philanthropic activities
Pony Verma Prakashraj - Ace Choreographer
Montaha Al Ajeel - Fashion and Style
Bedour Al Raqbani - Education
Alia Al Mazrouei - Business
Princess Attorney Ade I Garrick - Finance and Law quoted Robert Frost
Sultana Siddiqui - Scroll of Honour Media
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