Bhojpuri star's gesture for theatre blast victims

Manoj Tiwari, a Bhojpuri film actor, Saturday made a touching gesture as he called on the families of those who lost their lives in a bomb blast in a cinema hall here last month while watching his latest film.

Tiwari quietly made his way to this industrial city of Punjab to console the families of victims who lost their lives in the blast Oct 14.

Seven people, all of them migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, were killed and several injured in the blast inside the Shringar cinema hall.

The victims were watching Tiwari's latest hit Bhojpuri film "Janam Janam Ke Saath" when the bomb went off. Being a holiday, the cinema hall was full to the capacity.

Tiwari visited blast victim Hari Pal's family and later met the families of other victims at the theatre complex.

"We have lost our son. We cannot overcome that grief. But his (Tiwari's) coming here has moved us. Otherwise, who bothers for poor people?" said Trishu Prasad, father of Hari Pal.

Tiwari, accompanied by co-star Urvashi Chaudhary, consoled the family and even lightened the atmosphere by asking them about his movies.

The Bhojpuri star gave Rs.25,000 as aid to each of the families of the victims. He also promised help to those disabled in the blast.

"My compensation is not much and it is not going to compensate these families for the loss of their loved ones but I thought it was my duty to share their grief and to bring some joy to them," the actor said.

Out of Ludhiana's 3.5 million population, nearly one-third is that of migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Films in Bhojpuri, the language spoken in those parts, are regularly screened in some cinema halls.

Hundreds of his fans turned up at the theatre to see him.

"I know you people will not be scared by such incidents. Those who have done this crime are afraid of the bond between the migrants and Punjabis," the star said.

Indo-Asian News Service