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Super fun with Super hero

Don Bosco schools in the city and Cinemax partner to give 100 kids a thrilling treat

November 09, 2011 06:58 pm | Updated 06:58 pm IST

Children from Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan,Palluruthy at CineMax,Kochi.

Children from Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan,Palluruthy at CineMax,Kochi.

It is very early in the day for a film but there they were, almost 100 children from Sneha Bhavan and Valsalya Bhavan (Palluruthy), Don Bosco projects in Kochi, in their best clothes for a treat – a special screening of Ra.One. There is a week to go to Children's Day but this is celebration in advance.

It is 8.30 a.m. on November 7, the mall is fast asleep but at the steps these excited children wait, the air is so heavy with anticipation that you could cut it with a knife.

Saratchandra Singh, a well-wisher at Don Bosco, and Father Antony run around to get the children in. The escalators are still off and only a couple of the elevators have been switched on. A ‘helpful' security guard at the mall suggests that the kids take the stairs to the fourth floor. Anyway the kids take turns on elevators and are on their way up. The crew at Cinemax are all set to welcome the guests to screen 1 where Ra.One would be screened. While waiting at the lobby the children drink in sights of the sleeping glitzy mall.

The screening is part of Cinemax's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, informs Renny Varghese, in-charge of Kochi Cinemax. There is, apparently, a charity screening almost every month and in most Cinemax properties across the country. There is an awed silence as the children enter the hall. The bigger children make themselves comfortable while the younger ones wait to be told. Once they settle down, the children start whispering among themselves.

SRK fans

Lights dim and the movie begins. As Badshah Khan comes on screen, there are claps and cheering. The kids are sold on the movie. Every time the hero wisecracks there are claps and laughter. Intermission comes and it is snack time or is it? The kids don't expect and therefore when the crew comes with trays of snacks there are whispers, “what is it? What are they getting?” They sit in their place and each child awaits his or her turn.

Remya and Anagha are classmates and friends, squeezed in a seat. “I like the film. Shahrukh Khan is good. But I wish it was Vijay's ‘Velayudham'.” A fan? “I like all of Vijay's films.” Ra.One or Velayudham? “VELAYUDHAM,” she screams. Only to be shushed by Anagha. A precocious Anagha says, “Tamils.” Shakila, who studies in Class 3, says, “I like Ra.One and Shahrukh Khan and coming here and seeing all the shops. They will open by now, won't they?” A young gentleman says, “I like Salman Khan, Mohanlal, Vijay…Shahrukh Khan also!” comes as an afterthought.

After almost three hours of watching the film, the day out is almost done when it is time for the Kochi Corporation Welfare Standing Committee chairperson Essy Joseph's talk. The designated chief guest, she was to have inaugurated the event but was held up elsewhere. She did, however, make it before the event ended. As part of the event Father Sunny Thomas Uppan, director Sneha Bhavan, spoke about the event and also the relevance of the NINEISMINE campaign.

The show done it was time to go back home. The kids took in all the sights at throbbing, vibrant mall and committed to memory, probably till next time.

NINEISMINE

‘NINEISMINE' (nine is mine) campaign was launched in 2006 in India. The campaign is a ‘participatory children's advocacy initiative' calling for nine per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) be kept aside for children: it be spent on their health and education.

At the head of this initiative of children, schools communities and organisations in India is Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), a national campaign to hold the government accountable to its promise to end poverty, social exclusion and discrimination – toward meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In short NINEISMINE aims to achieve access for every child to basic health and education as a right.

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