MALKANGIRI: From the remote pockets of Swabhiman Anchal in Malkangiri to the City of Dreams Mumbai, the journey of 13 talented orphans is an example of unflinching determination.
The boys had recently left viewers from across the country impressed with their stunts and unique fusion of martial art and dance at the reality TV show ‘India’s Got Talent’. Although they could not make it to the later rounds, this hasn’t deterred the spirit of the talented boys who want to carve a niche for themselves in dance and martial arts.
All of them are in the age group of 10 to 18 and have been trained by Binash Mishra who founded the All Odisha Martial Arts Academy in Malkangiri. He has been training youngsters in martial arts like judo, karate, taekwondo and yoga.
“This is not the end but a new beginning for all of us”, said 15-year-old Eisak Kisku, who belongs to the Santhali tribe from MV-6 village under Malkangiri block. Kisku studies in Class VI at the government school in Kumutiguda at Malkangiri town and is passionate about dance. “I have grown up watching Hindi film actors dance on television at my aunty’s house,” said the boy who lost his father when he was in Class II.
The youngest among four siblings, he had to move into his aunt’s house a year later when his mother remarried and deserted the children. He had to drop out of his village school and graze his aunt’s goats and also worked as a labourer for Rs 250 a day for some time till a relative Dhiren Hansda introduced him to Binash in 2018. The adversities, notwithstanding, he did not give up on dance.
The same year, Binash came across another boy Sukra Kirsani of Badpada in Bonda Hill who lost his father when he was in Class VIII. Currently studying in the same school as Kisku, Sukra used to cut paddy to support his mother.
Binash, on the other hand, was on the lookout for boys from poor socio-economic backgrounds to train them in martial arts. “I came across Kisku and Sukra during my visits to some villages in the district. They were in a poor condition after losing their parents”, said the professional martial art and yoga trainer. Moved by their plight, he started looking for more such children. Having found the 13 boys, he decided to educate and train them in martial art and dance. All the boys belong to the Bonda, Santhali, Koya, Parja and Kondh tribes.
“Initially I thought of only educating them and enrolled all the boys in different government schools. But when they started coming to my academy during their free hours, they would voluntarily start doing martial arts and learn dance moves. This is when I decided to professionally train them”, said Binash.
Aiming at showcasing their craft at a national-level, Binash began training them last year for the auditions. “The boys staged a stunning performance and amazed the judges. They were selected in the audition round and that is not a small feat. If they continue performing like this, they could very well become the next Prince Dance Group of Odisha,” said the proud trainer who collected donations from various people to take the children to auditions.
Having got an exposure at a national-level, the boys now want to take part in all the reality TV shows including an upcoming one in Colours channel and some others are preparing for judo and karate competitions. One among them, Masi Hantal will be taking part in a national-level judo competition to be held soon.
Binash said that he will continue to find out the hidden talents from across the district and do his best to provide suitable platforms to them to showcase their craft. He has also trained over 100 youths of the district who have won medals for martial arts at national level.