Mahira Khan has been making waves in the film industry at home and across the border. The talented actor has now set her sights on empowering children through her work.
The actor who recently made her Bollywood debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan vowed on Sunday to use her platform to help transform children’s lives just as her teachers did for her.
In a moving tribute to her teachers while addressing the Global Teacher Prize ceremony in Dubai, Mahira said, “Teachers have the power to make a shy little girl like me believe in her dreams, so yes, teachers do matter.”
“We walk on red carpets, we get to support the causes close to our hearts. People like us, I talk about sportsmen, actors. We do all kinds of things and people around the world celebrate our success but the world’s teachers, the very people who shape the next generation aren’t thanked enough. You [teachers] are the true stars,” the actor added as she went on to vow to use her platform to empower people.
The actor recalled how her art, math and English teachers shaped her life and believed in her.
The Global Teacher Prize ceremony organised by the Varkey Foundation was attended by many celebrities, including Mahira and Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor.
Earlier in the day, Mahira also participated in a Global Education and Skills Forum where she spoke about ‘Empowerment, Equality and Impact of Girls’ Education’.
The actor addressed the ceremony and paid tribute to the teachers who played a role in her life. “All learning is understanding. When I look back at my own teachers, I had been affected by so many of them. I stand here in front of you because of all those teachers who understood me, who understood that they had a huge responsibility in shaping the way every child in the class thought .. making a difference by seeing the difference,” said Mahira while speaking to the audience.
“Today I have a voice and a platform and I plan to do exactly that in my capacity.”
Mahira also announced the commencement of a National Teacher Prize which would follow in the footsteps of the Global Teacher Prize.
The Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the teaching profession. Organised by the Varkey Foundation, the award aims to raise the status of teaching at an annual event attended by high-profile celebrities, dignitaries and the world’s top teachers.
Salima Begum, a teacher from Gilgit-Baltistan, was also one of the top 10 finalists. The award ultimately went to Maggie MacDonnell — a Canadian who teaches at a school in a fly-in-only village in the Arctic.