One-Legged Dancer Stuns ‘India’s Got Talent’ Audience & Judges

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Losing a limb is painful enough for any human being. Yet we read so many stories of courage, hope and triumph in the midst of defeat, that it makes the rest of us realize life is about more than just how you look.

But to lose a limb AND go on a national TV talent show and perform in front of millions? Now that’s a story we don’t often hear.

27 year old Subhreet Kaur Gumman, aka the one-legged dancer as she is now famously known, from Ludhiana, India, has just done something so remarkable, her story is being shared around the globe.

In October 2009 she lost one of her legs in a motorcycle accident, which dramatically altered the course of her life.

“I fractured my knee badly but I wasn’t dying, my life wasn’t in danger thankfully,” she told the Daily Mail in the UK who covered her story. However due to negligence from the hospital which left her lying in a bed for two weeks, her leg took a turn for the worse.

“My mum begged doctors to treat me, but they just put my leg in a brace and left me. They didn’t even attempt to treat my fracture,” said Subhreet.

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She already had a pre-existing condition called Arterioenous Malformation, which is an abnormal connection between veins and arteries. This made doctors apprehensive about performing surgery on her. Two weeks later when she did have the surgery, a doctor mistakenly cut a vital vein which left her bleeding uncontrollably.

This meant she had to wait even longer for her leg to heal from the bleeding, for the doctors to be able to fix the fracture. She was sent home, and eventually her leg started to get worse and worse. She was bed ridden for two more months and started to see her toes and leg turn black. The infection had spread so far Subhreet begged her mother to have her leg amputated.

“I was sobbing. I was devastated, but I knew that I had to cut it off, it was the only option left and the only chance I had of trying to get my life back,” she said.

Almost a year after the accident she had her leg amputated, and surprisingly, it was a relief for Subhreet not to have a lifeless limb attached to her anymore.

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After the surgery, she started reading a lot of stories about other amputees and how they re-started their life and was inspired to get back into something she had been doing since she was a girl: dancing.

“I decided not to fall into darkness but show the world that I was a strong person and continue my passion for dance. My mother was shocked but happily agreed to support me,” she said.

“My friends started ignoring me, people showed me sympathy, but it was pity. I didn’t want pity.”

Most of the dance studios near her originally rejected her because of her disability. Eventually she found one, Rockstar Academy (fitting name!) in nearby Chandigarh who accepted her. Subhreet decided to take her journey to recover one huge step further and audition for India’s Got Talent.

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She got as far as the finals in the show, and although she didn’t win, the platform that she had on the talent show ensured her story went far and wide. Subhreet isn’t angry that she didn’t win, because most of all she proved to herself and to everyone around her (especially the naysayers) that she is just as capable of achieving anything that a person with two legs can.

“My life has changed completely. I have seen the darkest days but now everything seems beautiful. People recognize me when I go out, they ask me for photographs and autographs. It is an amazing feeling.”

She is known affectionately as the “one-legged dancer”. Dancing was never something she wanted to do professionally, but her life has taken her in a direction she never could’ve imagined.

Just as other amputees’ stories inspired Subhreet, her own journey of determination despite the odds will no doubt make an impact on many other lives. In a country like India which is still fiercely traditional, a girl with one leg could be considered an “outcast”, yet this brave young woman isn’t about to let tradition, culture or stigma stop her from being an absolute rockstar at life!

Her story reminds us of Amy Purdy, the snowboarder who literally grabbed life by the balls after losing her limbs. She has given a Ted Talk, became the first ever double-amputee to compete at an Olympic level this year at the Sochi Olympics, and started her own organization to raise money for other amputee athletes who want to find the best prosthetics for their sport.

Both of these strong women are examples of how, when you’ve got nothing more to lose, how do you start winning? And it is a lesson to those of us who may not have lost any part of our bodies, but need a good inspirational story to kick us up the butt. Will a setback in your life make you give up or rise up?

13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Bollywood Babes & Femina Magazine Launch 'Be Unstoppable' Campaign

  2. This dance video inspired me not to ever give up 2 weeks ago I lost my ability to speak and hear and I promised myself to NEVER EVER give up thks for your courage

  3. KINSHUK MANGLA says:

    A GIRL WITH NEVER SAY DIE ATITUDE HAS GIVEN ME COURAGE WITH MY DISABILITY

  4. Vidyadhar says:

    nICE, i GOTT SPIRIT, i AM JUST NEWELY AMPUTEDAND WAS UPSETTE

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