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Workers sing hearts out, win gold worth Dh45,000 in Dubai

Workers, sing, win gold, Dh45,000, Dubai, Western Union,  Camp ka Champ
AND THE WINNERS ARE: Swaim Mitu (far left) and Mustakkin Sheikh (far right) receive their prize at a labour accommodation in Al Quoz, Dubai. - Supplied photo

The singing talent show was held in Dubai over the weekend.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Tue 29 Oct 2019, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 31 Oct 2019, 11:43 AM

Tears of joy and gratitude trickled down their cheeks as Mustakkin Sheikh, an office boy, and his singing partner Swaim Mitu, an electrician - both Indians - hugged each other on the stage after they were declared the winners of the Western Union Camp ka Champ (CKC) competition and gifted gold worth Dh35,000 as prize. Each of the two runner-up teams were also given gold worth Dh5,000.  
The singing talent show was held in Dubai over the weekend.
Around 3,000 workers gathered at a labour camp in Al Quoz to watch the grand finale of the contest. A huge stage was set up in the camp's courtyard with colourful lights adorning it as hosts and dhols added zing to the event. The place was turned into a concert arena with huge speakers amplifying the music and making the performances of the workers more thrilling. Out of the 4,000 blue collar workers who were auditioned over last two months, around 15 made it to the final round. 
His voice breaking with emotion, Mustakkin Sheikh, 29, said: "This win means the world to me as not only has it given us recognition but also the amount of gold we have won here is something that would have taken me years to earn. I have four siblings and being the eldest I have a lot of responsibility towards my family. Although I always wanted to be a playback singer, I couldn't pursue my passion due to financial constraints. But I am grateful to organisers of CKC for helping realise my dream. This prize has come at a very crucial time as I have to get my sister married."
Runner-up of the solo category Zulfikar Ali said: "It is not easy for us to leave our loved ones and come this far away. Some of us have left our small children, wife, ailing parents and siblings, so that we can give them a better life. We are so bogged down by responsibilities that we don't get the time to think about our talent and nurture it."
The show was divided into two sections: the duet category 'Antaksharee' and the solo singing 'Surila Singer'. In Antaksharee, apart from giving out Dh35,000 worth of gold to the winners, the two runner-up teams were given Dh5,000 each in gold. In the 'Surila Singer' section, the winner Jaspreet Singh, 29, who works as a labourer, won Dh7,000 in cash, while runners-up Lovepreet Singh and Zulfikar Ali won Dh1,500 in cash individually.
"Most migrants in the country are away from their families and work hard to support their loved ones back home. They play a pivotal role in the lives of their families and communities, paying for their education, healthcare, food, rent and other basic needs.  Through Camp ka Champ, we hope to give them an opportunity to express their passion, live their dreams and inspire others," said Salma Massoud, director and head of marketing Middle East and Africa, Western Union.
"The journey of hosting Camp ka Champ for the blue collar workers since 2007 is very close to our hearts. We are proud to host Season 13 - it is all about participation, engagement, entertainment, camaraderie and an occasion everyone looks forward to eagerly," said Rupa Vinod, managing director of Right Track Advertising, the event's organiser.

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