Sudha Chandran is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, Indian film and television actress.
Sudha was born in Kerala on 21 September 1964. Her father K. D. Chandran hails from Irinjalakuda and her mother, Thankam hails from Kuzhalmannam , Palakkad. She earned her B.A from Mithibai College, Mumbai and subsequently an M.A in Economics. In June 1981, while travelling in Tamil Nadu, she met with an accident in which her legs were wounded. She received initial medical treatment of her injuries at a local hospital and was later admitted to Vijaya Hospital at Madras. After doctors discovered that gangrene had formed on her right leg, amputation was required. Chandran says that this period was the toughest time of her life. She subsequently overcame her disability with the help of a prosthetic 'Jaipur foot', becoming one of the most highly acclaimed dancers of the Indian subcontinent. She received invitations from all over the world for performances. She was honored with various awards. She performed as far away from home as Europe, Canada and the Middle East. Soon after, she catapulted to fame and recognition by venturing into the world of films and television. She gained fame after the tragic incident. Now she has become an inspiration to many.
She has also done several films in various languages. The 1984 Telugu film Mayuri, in which she plays herself, was inspired by her life story. The film was remade in Hindi in 1986 and it was called Nache Mayuri in which the cast was changed except for Sudha to suit the North Indian sensibilities. She was awarded the 1986 Special Jury Award at the National Film Awards for her performance in Mayuri.
Her career in television includes, Kaahin Kissii Roz where she portrayed the character of Ramola Sikand which became an instant hit. She is considered to be one of the more flamboyant stars on Indian television, known for her avant garde sarees, chunk jewellery and designer bindis. Since then she has acted in several TV shows such as K Street Pali Hill in which she played the character of Gayatri Kaul. Recently, she has participated in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa on Sony TV. She has also acted in Tamil serials including Kalasam and Arasi. Dance appears to be her passion, so much so that she has established a dance academy in Mumbai, 'Sudha Chandran Academy of Dance', which has branches all over Mumbai and Pune. Ravi Kumar Dang, Sudha's husband whom she married in 1986, is the executive director of the school. Sudha is often cited as a symbol of "will power". She is also one among the judges in popular reality show Super Dancer Junior Series on Amrita TV and was a judge for the reality dance show Maanada Mayilada in the sixth season.
In a recent post on “Humans of Bombay”, a page inspired by the famous “Humans of New York”, Sudha shared her inspiring story. Her story of how losing her foot was “a blessing in disguise” will put your troubles in perspective. She speaks in the post about how she began to dance from an early age and how it was her life's greatest passion. She even chose to join the Arts stream after 10th grade instead of Science, despite standing first, because she wanted to pursue her dancing. However, everything changed when the bus she was travelling in met with an accident.
“(It) left me with a fracture and some cuts — I was probably the least injured there. However, because of the heavy influx of patients, I was attended to by a couple of interns who forgot to attend to the cut on my right ankle and went ahead to wrap it up. This resulted in my foot getting gangrene and because of the fear of it spreading throughout my body, my parents had to take the difficult decision of amputating my right foot. I was shattered,” reads the post.
It took her four months to learn to walk straight, and another three years of physiotherapy after she was fitted with a prosthetic Jaipur foot. Visitors would come to her home and pity her but that only made her more determined to reclaim her life. But, she braved it all and went on to not only recover but also perform on stage again wither her prosthetic leg; rebuild her dancing career; and star in a many movies and television soaps.
Source: Wikipedia and “Humans of Bombay” Facebook page to featuring Sudha.