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Kader Khan, actor-turned-academics, dies at 81

Kader Khan is survived by his wife Hajra, son Sarfaraz Khan, daughter-in-law and grandchildren

Kader Khan

Mumbai: Kader Khan, renowned comedy actor who turned an academics and philanthropist and devoted his life for charity works, Tuesday passed away in Canada after a prolonged illness. He was 81.

He is survived by his wife Hajra, son Sarfaraz Khan, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. His funeral and last rites will be held in Canada.

“My dad has left us this morning. He was unwell from last few months and in the hospital from last few days”, his son Sarfaraz who along with his family was living in Canada, said.

“We tried everything we could, but it was time. He was a very loving man and he loved everyone who was a part of his life”, he added.

Kader Khan, also a playwright, had been unable to walk properly and was using a cane to support his movement after having undergone a knee surgery which had gone awry. He had been hospitalised in Canada after he complained of breathlessness and was put on a ventilator, according to various reports.

In his later years, the Kabul born actor devoted his life for charity and academics. With the help of experts, he had designed courses for studies in Arabic and Urdu languages. He used to say education can remove lot of misconceptions about religion.

He was also planning to create an entire syllabus from nursery to post-graduation in Islamic studies. He also tried to set-up K.K. Institute of Arabic Language and Islamic Culture at Knowledge City in Dubai.,

Reminiscing about his early years, Khan said in a 2012 interview that he was barely a year old when he came to Mumbai.

“I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1952. But my mother was scared of raising me there. Three of my elder brothers had died before they were eight years old. My mother believed there was something wrong in the Kabul air,” he rued.

“But the days weren’t easy even after we came to Bombay. We used to stay in a filthy slum in the red-light area as that was the only place we could afford. Although poverty-stricken, my mother insisted that I do not give up studies. She even took me to task once when she discovered that I was planning to work in a tin factory to earn a few rupees,” Khan added.

It was then that he realised the value of education and never looked back, said Khan. He went on to do his diploma in engineering and also taught several subjects like the theory of structures, hydraulics and strength of materials at M.H. Saboo Siddik College of Engineering in Byculla in south-central Mumbai as professor of civil engineering.

He also went to Makkah in 2014 along with his family to perform Hajj.

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