Indian High Commission holds cancer screening camps

The Indian High Commission to the Maldives will be hold free cancer screenings at ADK Hospital on February 4 and 5, and in Ghaafu Dhaalu Thinadhoo on February 6, as part of its health and wellness month.

In addition to the screenings, the high commission is organising a cancer awareness walk in Malé on February 4 at 4pm, in partnership with Basavatarakm Indo American Cancer Hospital (BIACH) in Hyderabad, ADK hospital, and the Cancer Society of Maldives.

The walk will be followed by yoga instruction at the artificial beach, while similar yoga workshops are to be organised in Himmafushi, Villingili, and Bandos during the month.

Last month the high commission held a number of Bollywood themed events, including a dance show, quiz, and a film festival as part of year-long celebrations of diplomatic relations with the Maldives.

“In celebration of the 50th anniversary of relations and Maldivian Independence, every month will include thematic activities as part of a year-long celebration,” said Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives Rajeev Shahare.

Other events for the wellness month include a blood donation camp held on February 27. The high commission requests everyone to register in advance for these camps by calling 763 8246.


India to hold Bollywood dance show to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations with Maldives

The Indian High Commission has announced plans to hold a Bollywood-themed dance show to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations with the Maldives.

Speaking at a function held this morning, Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives Rajeev Shahare said the high commission will hold an “entrance free, high quality dance show at Alimas Carnival Area on January 23”.

“In celebration of 50th anniversary of relations and Maldivian Independence, every month will include thematic activities part of a year long celebration. January will be our Bollywood month taking into account Maldivian love for Bollywood,” said Shahare.

The show is said to feature Mumbai based Bollywood dance troupe, Ferris Wheel Entertainment. The troupe consists of dancers for famous movies and makeup artists.

Meanwhile, other events for the month include a Bollywood Quiz – where the winner gets a Bollywood tour – and an art exhibition with art work created by Indian and Maldivian children called United Colors.

The events are sponsored by the State Trading Organization (STO), telecom provider Ooredoo, the State Bank of India and Indian infrastructure giant Tata Housing.


Bollywood film island “just a concept”: Thoyyib

Reports that Bollywood has been invited to establish a film studio in the Maldives were erroneous, according to Minister of State for Tourism Arts and Culture Thoyyib Waheed, “as the idea is just a concept.”

Newspaper Miadhu reported Thoyyib as claiming during a press conference that the Maldives had “already proposed that one of the islands could be turned into a studio to shoot movies”, and that Bollywood industry could be solicited in the Maldives – “hopefully, it will materialise by next year.”

The prolific Mumbai-based Hindi-film studios eclipse Hollywood in terms of box-office receipts, churning out productions with budgets of up to US$20 million. The films are a strong cultural influence in the Maldives and visiting film stars like Salman Khan are given state receptions.

Speaking to Minivan News today, Thoyyib said he was referring to a call for expressions of interest (EOI) by Invest Maldives and the 100 percent government-owned Maldives Entertainment Company (MEC) in February, to develop the country’s entertainment infrastructure.

“It was a development concept – 6-7 parties put forward proposals but none were successful,” Thoyyib said.

According to the EOI statement, proposals sought by the government included entertainment complexes, “a theme park/amusement island”, multiplex cinema complexes, musical facilities and “a film-friendly island, dedicated to film shoots providing resources, state of the art equipment, resort style accommodation and other amenities for production teams, cast and crews producing feature films, documentaries, telemovies, mini-series, TV series, commercials, and music videos.”

The EOI statement predicted that “this new concept in full spectrum shoots will have strong appeal to Hollywood, Bollywood and beyond.”

Thoyyib commented that if a collaboration with Bollywood was achieved, the currently fledgling Indian sector of the Maldives tourism market “will definitely increase.”

Despite the proximity of the Maldives, Bollywood producers were shooting in Mauritius and the Seychelles “because we just don’t have the infrastructure in Maldives. We would need to provide an island with both low budget accommodation for the crew and upmarket accommodation blocks or villas [for the stars].”

No island had yet been earmarked for such an endeavor, he said.