Tourism Corporation Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Council and Peshawar Press Club celebrated the 92nd birthday of Bollywood stalwart Dilip Kumar on Thursday.
Kumar was born as Yousuf Khan in the Hindko-speaking Awan family on December 11, 1922 in Mohallah Khudadad, near Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Peshawar. The actor whose perennial contribution to Indian cinema is widely acclaimed, spent 12 years of his childhood playing in the streets of the walled city.
Kumar’s better half Saira Banu addressed the attendees via telephone. She recalled moments from the early years of Kumar’s career, thanked the organisers for remembering him on his birthday and stressed the need for smooth bilateral relations between India and Pakistan. Veteran Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Kumar, Govinda and Amjad Khan’s wife Shaila Khan also spoke over the telephone on the occasion.
The TCKP managing director said that it is an honour for the department to take up the long-standing demand of celebrating Kumar’s birthday and recognising the ‘son of the soil’.
Also speaking on the occasion, tourism department secretary Aftab Akbar Durrani said that the incumbent K-P government is working towards declaring Kumar’s ancestral home in Peshawar as national heritage. “The government has taken the initiative of restoring the house,” he said.
Adviser to CM on Tourism, Archaeology and Museums Amjid Khan Afridi said, “We will not only protect and restore the house of Dilip Kumar but also of Raj Kapoor. We will turn them into museums and put artefacts used by the legendary actors on display for the general public.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2014.