Students from Salaam Bombay Foundation’s (SBF) Academy of Arts got a lifetime opportunity to learn the craft of theatre and camera acting in a special workshop conducted by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, India’s premier acting institute that has trained popularactors such as Deepika Padukone, Kiara Advani, Varun Dhawan, Ananya Pandey, and many others.
The Salaam Bombay Foundation works with 12 to 17-year-old adolescent children growing up in Mumbai’s slums. These children live in extreme poverty and in “at risk” environments.
The special workshop that took place on May 7 at the institutes’ premises in Andheri West, Mumbai, became a major hit.
According to the NGO, the institute founded by international actor Anupam Kher also offered scholarships to select exceptionally talented students from municipal-run schools in an attempt to help these resource-challenged acting aspirants build a career as actors and performers.
Out of 25 students, three students have been selected for the scholarship by Actor Prepares.
These selected students will get complete support from the acting school in terms of further training and guidance. Most of these students hail from humble backgrounds and yet have achieved a remarkable feat in the art of acting.
The workshop is organized with a motive to teach them the finer aspects of the performing art, improve their skills and guide them on their path to pursue acting professionally.
20-year-old Siddhesh Pardhi who was a part of the workshop expressed his excitement and gratitude for this one-of-its-kind opportunity. Siddesh, is a 2 nd -year college student who suffered his share of hardships during the pandemic.
His mother was a tailor who lost employment due to Covid-19, now she runs a small-scale bakery and Siddesh helps her with it.
From class 7 th , he started taking part in theatres and local stage performances. His talent and zeal got him a role in Rani Mukherjee starrer Bollywood movie Hichki. Following that Siddesh appeared in a couple of episodes of Crime Patrol also.
Somewhat similar is the story of Priyanka Kotwal, another acting aficionado who is also going to be a part of the workshop.
Priyanka is a daughter of an auto rickshaw driver and a resident of Borivali who discovered her fondness for acting after she attended SBF’s introduction to theatre sessions at her school. Since 8 th standard she started participating in theatre workshops and performances and then never looked backed.
Today, Priyanka boasts a rich resume, she is an assistant trainer at SBF’s theatre academy and has performed several times with renowned actor, writer, director and puppeteer Meena Naik in the past, plus she has also appeared in a series on YouTube and has done numerous voice over for several animated shows.
Suveer Bhambani, Acting Coach, Actor Prepares, said, “Our acting workshop for the youth of Salaam Bombay Foundation is in line with the vision of Actor Prepares’ founder and chairman Anupam Kher to empower underprivileged youth, with professional skill training to help them realise their dream of pursing professional acting as a career, while helping boost their confidence and capability to follow this passion.”
Rajashree Kadam, VP, Projects (Arts and Media Academy), Salaam Bombay Foundation also spoke about how beneficial this workshop was for the acting students. “All our students are talented, passionate and hard-working, each of them has undergone hardships yet they are all very passionate about their love for acting. This workshop not only educated them but also opened new possibilities for them, they were filled with so much joy and aspirations,” she said.