Indian actor Mohanlal has kept his promise of visiting the UAE and paying his tribute to the country's frontline warriors, who have fought relentlessly amid the COVID times.
The superstar had visited Burjeel Medical City and conveyed his gratitude to the nurses for their diligent service during the pandemic, reported Khaleej Times.
Last year, on International Nurses Day, Mohanlal had called several nurses working in different emirates to commend them for their role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the telephonic conversation with the actor, nurse Sonia Chacko had a special request.
“When are you coming to meet us in the UAE, Laletta?” she asked the star. The actor replied: “I will visit the frontliners, including you, once the pandemic is under control and the travel restrictions are eased.”
A year later, the actor, who predominantly works in Malayalam cinema and has also appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi-language films, fulfilled his promise by visiting the nurses who have been bravely battling the pandemic from the frontlines.
The 15 nurses that he spoke with last year are thrilled that he kept his word. While some of them travelled from Sharjah, Dubai and Al Ain to meet him, the others interacted with him on the big screen.
Chacko can barely contain her excitement. “When he called last year to wish me on International Nurses Day, I had requested him to meet us the next time he comes to the UAE. I can’t believe my wish has come true. This is indeed a memorable occasion for all of us nurses. Such gestures inspire us and fill us with positivity,” she said.
The actor interacted with the medical staff in an event organised by VPS Healthcare, which owns Burjeel Medical City.
John Sunil, regional chief executive officer, Burjeel Hospitals, welcomed the actor to the event.
The actor, among the select few Indians who have been granted the UAE’s Golden Visa, spent some time interacting with the nurses and thanked them for their service.
“Nurses and doctors are the real heroes in these challenging times. I am happy that I could come here and greet you all. You have been dispensing an invaluable service to the community at a difficult time like this. I appreciate your courage and sacrifices and thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Mohanlal, who also thanked Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director of VPS Healthcare, for inviting him to the event.
One of the nurses asked him if he would consider staying in the UAE for a longer duration now that he has received the golden visa. “I first visited the UAE 40 years ago and it is like my second home. If you insist, I will come and stay here,” he said on a lighter note.
When registered nurse Sinu from Burjeel Royal Hospital, Al Ain, asked him how he handles work stress, he said: “This is my 44th year in movies. If you have commitment, gratitude, the fire to succeed and most importantly, the grace of God, you can overcome such pressures. I wish that all of you are abundantly blessed with these qualities.”
For Maria Du Plooy, registered nurse at Burjeel Medical City, who had only heard of Mohanlal from her colleagues, meeting the actor was a special moment. She said: “I am happy that I got a chance to meet a beloved movie star from India. My staff became quite starry-eyed when they knew you were in the building and wanted me to ask you if you would make a movie with a hospital theme while you are here in Abu Dhabi.” To this, the actor replied: “I will definitely take it as a challenge and do it.”