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Monday, June 25, 2007

UAEs poor Rajni fans to feast on “Sivaji”

Indian labourers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can watch Rajnikanth’s latest blockbuster “Sivaji: The Boss” for free thanks to an NGO run by Indian expatriates here.
The Rajni World Welfare Trust (R2WT), comprising 40 non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the UAE, is raising money for the purpose. The tickets, according to the organisation, will be given for Thursday night and Friday matinee shows during the next three weeks.
“There are many hard-working labourers in Dubai who wish to watch the movie but cannot afford it. That is why we decided to buy tickets for them. Our trust members know many labourers and they are giving the tickers to them for free,” Narayana Kannan, a trustee of R2WT said.
While around 50 per cent of the amount, dirham 1,500 (about $400), will come from the trust, members are encouraging friends to donate the rest of the amount, the Khaleej Times reported.
“We are asking our friends to chip in by putting in small amounts like dirham 10 or dirham 20 depending on how much they would like to donate,” Kannan said.
The film has already created a record of sorts in Bahrain with theatres reporting 100 percent occupancy, mainly from the Indian community.
So intense was the pre-release hype in the Gulf country that tickets were sold out two days before the film released Friday.
Directed by Shankar, “Sivaji” is the story of a man who returns to India from the US to do good for the people. It is said to be the most expensive movie ever made in India with a whopping budget of over Rs 600 million ($15 million).
In several Indian cities, especially in south India, Rajni fans waited in serpentine queues to get tickets and were ready to pay anywhere between Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 for a single ticket.
Rajnikanth has ruled the Tamil film industry for over 30 years. The actor’s popularity has, over the years, transcended Indian boundaries. He has fans even in places as unlikely as Japan.



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