Here’s taking a look at some Bollywood films which have not just treated the subject of disability with the right measure of sensitivity and compassion, but which also have been instrumental in changing people’s ideas and attitude towards the disabled.
In Sparsh, Naseeruddin Shah plays a visually impaired principal of a blind school while Shabana Azmi plays a teacher. Shabana (Kavita) and Naseeuddin Shah (Anirudh) fall in love but soon Shah faces an inner turmoil due to his complexities and starts having second thoughts. This memorable film is renowned for the intense and heart-wrenching performances by Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi and the film garnered massive critical acclaim.
Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bachchan starred as a deaf and mute couple in Koshish which dealt with the challenges, the pain and struggle that one has to endure in a rather insensitive society, especially if one is disabled. In the film, the couple raise a son together who eventually falls in love with a hearing impaired girl.
Starring Shreyas Talpade in the titular role, Iqbal is the story of a deaf and mute boy who dreams of making it into the Indian cricket team but his status hinders his selection. He then picks a retired coach to train him and who ultimately leads him towards his goal.
Starring Nana Patekar, Seema Biswas, Manisha Koirala, Salman Khan and Helen, this film marked Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s debut as a filmmaker. The film was about Annie, the daughter of a hearing and speech impaired couple (Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas), who meets Raj and who brings love, joy and music into her life. This film won many awards and accolades and brought Bhansali into the limelight for his wonderful direction.
This Kamal Hassan and Sridevi starrer film was considered Sridevi’s finest performance by many critics. The story is about a young woman (her mind is like that of a six year old due to a head injury) who is trapped in a brothel. Kamal Hassan plays a lonely teacher who rescues her from the brothel and eventually falls in love with her. This story was a remake of a Tamil film and Kamal’s performance won him a National Award in the original.