Shah Rukh Khan, one of Hindi cinema’s most globally known faces, has been awarded the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum 2018 that is currently underway in Davos, Switzerland.
The superstar was honored with this humanitarian award along with Sir Elton John and Cate Blanchett, for his leadership in championing children’s and women’s rights in India.
The Crystal Award is given, by the WEF to artists who make a positive change in society.
Shah Rukh has been running his non-profit organization – Meer Foundation– which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support.
While delivering an acceptance speech, he said that when he came across a lady a few years ago who was brutalised by acid, his life or rather the perspective of it changed forever.
“To disfigure a woman by throwing acid on her face is, to me, one 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, to say 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 to reject the idea of victimhood. What struck me most about them was this – what was done to them only made them braver and stronger and more able to free themselves to make the choices that everyone around them was telling them they could not make or should not make,” Khan said.
At the gathering that was attended by some of the most powerful people in the world, the superstar tackled the very concept of power. “”We, the powerful, need to get out of the way, to pick the barriers apart, the ones that give us names and races and colours and hierarchies.”
The two others who received the award are actor Cate Blanchett and musician Elton John. Blanchett, an Australian actress and theatre director, has received the award for her leadership in raising awareness of the refugee crisis and British singer-songwriter John received the award for his charitable work in fighting against HIV/AIDS.