When unsung heroes sang for their fraternity
Dubai - "I was speechless when I heard my name as the winner."
Shabbir Khan, 48, an Indian tailor living in Dubai since 2006 recently stunned everyone with his singing performance in a hugely popular singing contest 'Camp ka champ'. He won the competition with the cash prize of Dh35,000 and became singer of the season. As his name was announced as the winner of the contest, Khan was unable to contain his emotions and tears of joy rolled down his cheeks.
"I was speechless when I heard my name as the winner. Honestly, I never thought even in my wildest dreams that I will ever get a chance to perform in front of so many people and my talent will get acknowledged like this. I wanted to share the news with my family immediately but it was too late call so I had to wait until next morning," he told Khaleej Times.
Khan, a small time embroidery worker, originally from a small village in Rajasthan was raised in Ahmedabad, India. He came to Dubai hoping to be able to give a good life to his family back home in India. Although he was quite famous among his friends and relatives for his melodious voice, he never thought about taking part in any competition before.
"I had to leave my studies when I was just 15 because of financial problems. Singing was in my blood from the very beginning, I love patriotic songs and I am a diehard fan of legendry Indian singers like Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh ji".
Khan now dreams of taking his passion to the next level. He wishes to come up with an album in the future and also specified that he sings for his satisfaction and not for money.
Another winner in one of the other segments of the show, Ibrar Hussain, aspires to become a good singer one day. He won gold worth Dh35,000 along with his partner Nusrat Khan (Indian) in the contest. He is 31 and came to Dubai in 2003 from Islamabad, Pakistan in search of a job. Hussain is a graduate in commerce and is currently working as a document controller in a Dubai-based company.
Hussain's struggling period started after his father passed away in 2001 and he had to take the responsibility of his mother and two younger sisters. Despite having inclination towards singing from childhood he never got a chance to pursue it as a career. He began his career in Dubai by working as a parking boy in one of the malls of the emirate.
"I used to live for singing. My friends, teachers and everyone in the family used to praise my voice. But because of financial crisis in the family and my father's unfortunate demise I couldn't afford to chase my dream of becoming a good singer. This contest has not only given me a platform to showcase my talent but also given me a ray of hope".
"The only time I had an audience for my songs was at a birthday party of an official from the company but this contest was the first time when I sung in front of around 4,000 people. I will cherish this beautiful moment all my life. I have only one wish now to take my mother for Umrah."
The stories of these heroes from the labour community not only inspires every heart and soul but also encourages other members of the community to follow their dreams.
Vinod Kumar, Director at Right Track advertising and one of main organisers of the competition, said: "We are happy to find amazingly talented people from almost 150 labour accommodations in the UAE. Our motive is to give them a stage to perform and polish their talent. We will definitely take every possible step to promote their talent and help them in giving their names in bigger competitions. After completing 10 years in UAE with Camp ka Champ we wish to take it to other GCC countries as well."