Camp based businessman Manjeet Virdi has been passionately organising free screening of Bollywood blockbuster for cancer afflicted kids from all communities
By Nadeem Inamdar
Pune : Meet Pune based businessman Manjeet Singh Virdi, owner of Modern Furniture, a premiere furniture shop on East Street in Pune Cantonment. Virdi has carved out a niche for himself in the field of social service and has been organising free screenings of Bollywood movies for cancer stricken orphans from all communities for the past twenty years as his passion for serving humanity.
To fulfill his commitment towards the cause of the destitute kids, he does not borrow a single penny from the sponsors for the screenings, which are organised at leading multiplexes in the city. The screening at any multiplex is a very costly affair but his love for the children makes the cost pale into insignificance. He instead funds the programme from the profits earned from his business establishment during the year.
Explaining the rationale behind the special screenings for the kids on the occasion of Diwali, Eid and Christmas, Virdi said that it is the lone act which brings about happiness and satisfaction in his life.
Narrating the challenges he faced in setting up the business and the support of his late mother, he said that the screenings are also part of his tribute to his mother, who always taught him the lesson that true religion is humanity and the best way to reach God is through serving the poor with children being special creation of God.
“I started screenings of popular Bollywood hits for the kids for the first time since 1997 and the experiment has received huge response from all the sections of the society. Earlier, we organized the screenings at City Pride, West End, Capitol and Mangala Talkies but with the growth of business and subsequent profits , I have shifted the venue to Inox. The children , who otherwise will never get a chance to see the movie in their lifetime at five star multiplexes,” he added.
Virdi reasoned out that another reason behind shifting the screening venue at multiplexes being the feeling that he considers them his own. “When my son tell me to take him for a movie, he wants to go to Inox and not anywhere else. I harbour the same feeling for these kids who too should get to see the movie at the best cinema theatre in the city. I will never compromise on quality and will ensure that I bring a smile on their radiating faces,” he added.
Another important feature of the movie screening by Virdi entails that the best icecream, bottled mineral water and quality snacks are provided to the kids during the show. The shows are organized under his aegis of M S Virdi Foundation wherein Virdi ensures that the children are safely picked up from their destination and dropped back at the appointed time.
Wahid Biyabani, trustee of Tayyabia Orphanage in Camp, whose inmates are a regular for the shows is all praise for Virdi. “Manjeet is a true human being and believes that everybody is equal in the society. He has brought smiles on thousands of poor and terminally ill cancer kids . He is indeed a man with a golden heart,” he added.
Manjeet won the hearts of scores of citizens last week when he screened Salman Khan Starrer ” Bajrangi Bhaijaan ” on the occasion of Eid much to the delight of 480 poor and cancer stricken kids. The who’s who of Pune made it a point to attend the grand show which was held at Inox.
(Nadeem Inamdar is consulting editor of Punekar News)