DRAPER, Utah — Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most successful actors in the world. He is often known for his romantic roles where he plays over-the-top heroes, but he has also done roles that are restrained, morally gray or even villainous. On-screen, he radiates charisma with his enthusiastic gestures and expressive eyes. However, he also gets respect for how he conducts himself off stage, namely his hardworking and generous nature. Although his success is undeniable, here are 10 important facts about Shah Rukh Khan that emphasize his kindness.
10 Important Facts About Shah Rukh Khan
- Shah Rukh Khan was born in 1965 in New Delhi, India. His father, Meer Taj Mohammed Khan, was one of the youngest freedom fighters in India, striving for India’s independence. From him, Shah Rukh Khan learned the importance of not taking his freedom for granted. This meant having an appreciation for his opportunities and blessings as well as working hard to live a worthwhile life. Shah Rukh lost his father when he was 15 and his mother when he was about 26 and while it was devastating for him, he chose to work even harder to become an actor and used acting as a means to release his pain.
- In 2009, by investing in a solar electricity project, Shah Rukh Khan assisted in giving light to seven Odisha villages. This benefited 270 families, giving them access to solar lamps which cost about four cents (three rupees) as well as a recharging station. Those living in the villages in Odisha received electricity after 61 years of independence.
- On November 10, 2011, Shah Rukh Khan became the first Indian to win a special UNESCO award, the Pyramide con Marni award, for his charitable acts.
- In 2013, Shah Rukh Khan founded the MEER Foundation in remembrance of his late father, Meer Taj Mohammed Khan. The foundation’s goal is to support and empower women, especially those who have suffered from acid attacks, which affect about 1,500 women each year. It provides support through medical treatment, occupational training and legal assistance in order to boost rehabilitation and overall livelihood. In 2019, to acknowledge Shah Rukh Khan’s work with the foundation, La Trobe awarded Shah Rukh Khan with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters.
- Amid the Uttarakhand floods in 2013, Shah Rukh Khan donated Rs. 33 lakhs (approximately $40,482) to those that the floods affected. Shah Rukh Khan provided Rs. 1 crore (approximately $122,671) to the Chennai flood victims in 2015. Also, in 2018, in order to support the Kerala flood victims, the MEER Foundation gave Rs. 12 lakhs (about $14,720) to the Government of Kerala’s Chief Minister Distress Relief Fund, according to India Times.
- In 2014, Shah Rukh Khan’s cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders won Indian Premium League Season. He donated all the money, Rs. 15 crores (about $1,840,423), to cancer patients in Kolkata and Mumbai, according to India Times.
- In 2018, the World Economic Forum honored him with the annual Crystal Award for his stewardship in encouraging the rights of women and children in India.
- In 2020, the actor donated to PM CARES, which provides funding for COVID-19 research as well as improves the availability of treatment. He also donated to the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief, the Roti Foundation, Working People’s Charter, Ek Saath: The Earth Foundation, and the Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Providers. With the Ek Saath Foundation, Shah Rukh Khan provided food to 5,500 families who had been previously living off of daily wages. For health care workers in Maharashtra and West Bengal, the MEER Foundation pledged to give 50,000 kits as well, according to India Today.
- On January 1, 2023, Anjali Singh died after a car hit and killed her on her way home from New Year’s Eve Celebration. Her father died eight years ago and she was the second oldest of six siblings. Her mother developed kidney disease and when Anjali was a teenager, she dropped out of school to provide for her family. The MEER foundation decided to help her family with by donating an undisclosed amount.
- According to Man’s World India, when Shah Rukh Khan came to Delhi to pursue acting, he had no family with him and the only money he had was Rs. 1,500, (approximately $18). He was thrown out on the street after being unable to pay rent and faced rejection multiple times. He got offers for unpopular roles, the ones that much more famous actors rejected. Still, despite his immense hard work, he credits his success to all those who helped him along the way. Whether they gave him a place to stay or crucial advice to guide his career and life choices, he claims he would never be where he is today without them. Shah Rukh Khan never forgets to express his gratitude and acknowledge those who supported him. He remains humble, even as one of the biggest stars not only in Bollywood but the world.
After accepting an honorary doctorate in Philanthropy from The University of Law in London, he expressed that charity should be carried out in silence. Doing charity only for the sake of boasting or improving one’s reputation should be avoided. Shah Rukh Khan, as much as he gives support where it is needed and to causes that matter to him does not prefer to discuss his charitable acts. Still, these 10 important facts about Shah Rukh Khan contain evidence of his care and generosity throughout the years.
– Megan Roush