|TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ THURSDAY, JUNE 06, 2002 10:54:44 PM ]
Kolkata had never seen Ricky Martin. And when the Latin pop sensation came on a “secret” visit to the city, those ringing him went out of their way to make sure that the city didn’t get a glimpse of him.
But they failed. Calcutta Times managed to catch a glimpse of the star at the Kalitala Destitute Home of Sabera Foundation, an NGO set up by celebrated Spanish singer Nacho Cano in 1999 and presently patronised by Hollywood’s hot star Penelope Cruz. This home, providing shelter to 110 homeless girls, has many big names from Hollywood like Tom Cruise,Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, raising funds for it.
Yet this organisation is perhaps the most media-shy NGO in the city. It tried its best to avoid curious journalists on Thursday afternoon. Even during Ricky’s two-hour visit. “Ricky has just left our home. I can’t give you any more information right now,” is all that the secretary of Sabera Foundation, Carlos Duran, offered.
But the fact that the Latino superstar is donating a huge amount of money to the home couldn’t be kept under wraps. Sources at the home said the money when converted to Indian currency reaches a staggering Rs 25 crores!
Ricky has apparently promised that he will send the money within a month. In fact, in the last week of March, Ricky had performed in a live concert in Madrid to raise funds for this organisation. Though the journalists and fans were deprived of even a short glimpse of the star, the residents of the home had a gala time chatting away with Ricky.
The girls even presented a dance number to greet the star. After his visit to the home, Ricky, dressed in a maroon T-shirt, posed for the camera for a soccer match sequence of a promotional video at the Muchisa grounds nearby. “He will also feature our girls in the video. Ricky will be playing soccer with the home residents in the video,” said an official overseeing Ricky’s visit.
During this match, Ricky changed his T-shirt twice. One to a maroon and later to a white colour. According to officials, Ricky is also planning a world tour with live concerts, which he wants to capture in a video. Ricky’s visit to Sabera will also feature in the video.
Sources said that Ricky has already entered into a contract with a hotel group to do an endorsement film for the company. Photographers were specially flown in from Mumbai for the shoot.
“Talks are still on with Ricky,” said an official of Contract Ad Agency, the firm handling the account of the group. The security cordon thrown around Ricky is perhaps the most flawless that the city police has ever seen. Curiously, the organisers never approached Kolkata Police for Ricky’s security. “Thirty armed security guards are constantly ringing him.
Martin’s security is being supervised by a private security agency. They did not approach us for his security,” said Prabir Kumar Das, officer-in-charge, Park Street police station.
|June 10, 2002 - Yahoo! has a photo of Ricky Martin being watched by Indian police as he arrived in Calcutta on Friday. Martin is in the country working on a film. Check it out here.
Security ring blurs out Ricky.
|Indian police watch as pop star Ricky Martin passes them at the Calcutta airport on his way to Russia, Friday, June 7, 2002. The internationally know singer was in India working on a film. (AP Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)|