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Saira Banu, Dharmendra pay tribute to Dilip Kumar at Subhash Ghai's Whistling Woods

A scholarship instituted in the late thespian's name was also presented to a student of the film school.

Saira Banu at the Whistling Woods campus

Our Correspondent

Subhash Ghai’s film institute Whistling Woods International paid homage to acting legend Dilip Kumar on his 99th birth anniversary on Saturday. The event saw the late actor's wife Saira Banu and veteran actor Dharmendra in attendance.

This was Saira Banu’s first public appearance after her husband died earlier this year on 7 July.

Subhash Ghai and Dharmendra inaugurate a Dilip Kumar mural

The event saw the inauguration of a mural of Dilip Kumar created by faculty and students of the creative arts department of animation and game design at the institute.

A scholarship instituted in the name of the late thespian was given to Kanupriya Gupta, a student from the Whistling Woods School of Filmmaking.

Saira Banu presenting the scholarship to Kanupriya Gupta

Speaking of Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra said, “Dilip saheb’s birthday is etched in my heart as it’s a very important day for me. When I met him for the first time, he never made me feel like a newcomer, always spoke to me like family, making me feel like his younger brother.”

Dharmendra speaking at the event

Ghai credited Dilip Kumar for encouraging him to set up a film institute. Sharing an anecdote, he said, “Whistling Woods International can never forget Dilip saheb. This institute belongs to him. Whenever people compliment me for WWI, I think of him. Upon sharing the idea of starting a film studio with my earnings, Dilib saheb suggested I distribute the knowledge I have by building a film institute."

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Subhash Ghai speaks about Dilip Kumar

Saira Banu added, “I am very happy to be here. Also, I am happy to hear the stories shared by Subhashji today. Though Dharamji and Subhashji remembered about the past, for me Dilip saheb is always with me and his presence can never be separated from me.”