18:01 GMT20 January 2021
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    The World Health Organisation’s report “Disability and Health” states that over one billion people, about 15% of the world's population, have some form of disability. As per India’s National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People, the country is home to over 70 million people with disabilities.

    Transforming their disability into ability, many Indian actors dancers, and singers have showcased through their inspiring stories that nothing is impossible.

    From winning everyone’s hearts on reality television shows to performing on international platforms, they have made it big despite all the challenges they have faced.

    On 3 December, World Disability Day, here are the stories of five Indian actors, singers, and dancers who have left everyone stunned and inspired with their success and achievements.

    Actress-dancer Sudha Chandran

    At the age of 16, actress-dancer Sudha Chandran lost one of her legs in a road accident, but that didn’t deter her spirit from pursuing her passion. With the support of a prosthetic leg, she not only continued with Bharatanatyam dancing, but also made her debut in acting at the age of 19.

    Sudha left everyone impressed with her acting prowess and shot to fame for her roles Ramola Sikand in the "Kaahin Kissii Roz" television show and as Yamini in "Naagin".

    The actress, who is 55 now, is touted as one of the most proclaimed Indian classical dancers and has performed across the world. She also won the National Film Award for her dance performance "Mayuri" in 1986.

    Hip-Hop Dancer Vinod Thakur

    Born without legs, Vinod Thakur from India’s capital city of New Delhi built his strength and moulded himself in such a way that he doesn’t have to depend on anybody.

    From climbing up or down the stairs to swiftly moving from one place to another, Vinod Thakur does all that and much more with ease.

    Working as a phone technician, Vinod’s passion for hip-hop dancing took him to the India’s Got Talent television show when he was 21, where he left everyone stunned with his performance. His life then took a U-turn. Since then, there has been no looking back.

    The 32-year-old has also participated in many dance reality shows, such as Nach Baliye, and was the winner of Super Idol talent show. He also bagged a gold medal and silver medal in Zurkhaneh Sports held in Russia in 2011.

    He started the Vinod Thakur Dance Academy and trains many other dancers for big competitions.

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    Dancer Subhreet Kaur Ghumman

    Fondly known as the "One Legged Dancer", Subhreet Kaur Ghumman, 34, from Punjab state’s Jhundan village, surprised everyone when she appeared on the India’s Got Talent show and danced to the popular Hindi song Chikni Chameli.

    At 23, Shubhreet suffered a road accident while driving her scooter and lost her right leg due to medical negligence.

    Shattered by the tragic incident, Shubhreet saw Vinod Thakur's dance on television and became inspired to start dancing on one leg. She worked on herself for years to build physical strength and made her first public performance on the India’s Got Talent TV show, for which she received a standing ovation.

    She also participated in another dance reality television show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, in 2015. But despite not winning the show, she continued with her dancing and has performed on many stages.

    Singer Jugpreet Bajwa

    Fondly known as Juggy Jag, 26-year-old Indian singer Jugpreet Bajwa from Canada lost his sight due to retinoblastoma eye cancer. He was just six months old at the time.

    But he has touched millions of hearts with his soulful singing and sees or observes life through the world of music.

    He learnt classical music and can also sing in 11 different languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, among others.

    After winning many singing competitions, Jagpreet appeared on the "SaReGaMaPa" singing reality show in Mumbai city and became one of the top five contestants.

    Jugpreet has released four music albums "Juggy de Nakhare", "Gurbani Shabad Kirtan", "DilVich", and "Rabb Diyaan Gallan" and has also sung for Bollywood movies.

    Dancer-choreographer Gulshan Kumar & We Are One Dance Group

    It’s nothing less than a marvel to see dancer-choreographer Gulshan Kumar and his troop "We Are One" perform the Bharatanatyam and Kathak dances on wheelchairs and making lifts and turns with great finesse.

    Due to polio, Gulshan Kumar was left wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. When he came in contact with choreographer Syed Salauddin Pasha, he received training in Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancing in a wheelchair.

    His life took a 180-degree turn and he performed on many television shows, like "Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega", and others.

    Now, with his dance troop We Are One, he trains many other disabled dancers and has also performed across the globe.


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