At times, life may not always be the way you plan it out to be. You may begin to think that the road to happiness and joy are starting to fade away. Rest assure that you are not the only one going through this. Let’s speak about a young lady with a passion for dancing even after the loss of a leg, as a result of an accident. Her name? Sudha Chandran, today known as an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer.
Sudha was born on September, 21st 1964; she earned B.A and subsequently her M.A. in Economics. She was also a bright student of Mumbai ‘Kala Sadan’. After seeing Sudha dance on her own at the age of 3, her father took her to a famous dance school in Mumbai and persuaded teachers to admit her and requested that the principal see the child at least once. Seeing Sudha perform so beautifully, finally, she was admitted in the prestigious institution. By the age of 17 she had presented 75 stage programs and won various awards. In 1981, while traveling from Mumbai to the South, she got into an accident in which her right leg was injured critically. She was taken to the hospital where the doctors made a mistake and plastered the leg, resulting in the change of skin color on her legs. After examination, doctors concluded that her leg had developed gangrene. In order to save her life the leg had to be amputated, marking the toughest time of her life.
However, she kept trying to stand on her one leg and began to walk with the help of crutches and a wooden leg. At that point of time, her father was a major source of inspiration for her. Nevertheless, she drew strength from the pain and pledged to become even stronger. Despite experiencing severe pain, she continuously practiced walking. She subsequently overcame her disability with the help of a prosthetic ‘Jaipur Foot’. Her desire and confidence for dance was revived again. With this a new round of struggle began. First, she started to walk with her artificial leg and on meeting with success; she tried to dance as well. This was however not easy, she used to see the blood while practicing and as the movements of leg become faster, the pain become more severe. She started losing hope but her determination did not falter and she again met the doctor who presented her with ‘Jaipur Foot’. Sudha restarted the dance practice but the challenge had just begun. The bleeding started again, experiencing severe pain that she did not allow to externally expose as she kept it all bottled in.
Finally, she got an opportunity to dance on stage, on the 28 of January, 1984. This period was quite challenging for her. This was also important because she had already been recognized as a proficient dancer before the accident. Additionally, she had received two important awards- Nritya Mayuri from the Dance Academy and Bharatnatyam and Nav Jyoti from the Telugu Academy. Both these awards were considered marvelous in the field of dance. She had come to the stage for the first time after the accident and the painful practice. However, when Sudha reached the stage, she just forgot that her leg was artificial and began dancing swiftly.
She became one of the highly acclaimed dancers of the Indian subcontinent. She received invitations for all over the world from performances and was honored with various awards. Soon after she catapulted to recognition and fame by venturing into the world of films and television. She also received various awards for her contribution in films by National Film Awards and The Indian Television Academy Awards.
Sudha is progressing well and her disability has now been left far behind. She has proven to the world that despite a disability one can touch the peak of success. She has become more of an inspiration to many with disabilities, proving that we can still achieve our goals without losing hope. There was even an inspirational story about her as a lesson for school students which will motivate them to reach their goal. Sudha proved that although we may be physically challenged, we are truly capable of mentally defeating anything. It is simply a choice.