Zero-starring Shahrukh Khan
3rd December every year is observed as World disability day and its commendable if Bollywood helps build more awareness in this regard and help people start looking at people with disabilities (PWD) beyond their wheelchairs and other challenges.

Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma in Zero attempts to move people look at people with disabilities (PWD) beyond wheelchairs @ World Disability Day 2018

Anushka Sharma is a well established name in the film fraternity. Having explored so many genres in the film industry, the actress is back with a bang with another challenging role as a cerebral palsy (CP) scientist in soon to be released movie zero”. In zero, she gets to share screen space with Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif.

Anushka seems to be all set to add another feather to her cap with Aafia, the name of her character in the movie Zero.

Role playing is not always easy especially when it comes to portraying and enacting disability. Kalki koechlin have also played a similar role in the movie Margarita with a straw, no comparison intended.

In recent interviews, Anushka have spoken about difficulties and challenges she came across. She sought professional help from an Occupational Therapist and an audiologist to better understand CP for at least three months. Accepting and manoeuvring a wheel chair was another milestone she needed to achieve for the film.

Occupational Therapy professionals work in team with Physiotherapist, speech therapist and others giving best possible intervention for children with CP, helping them overcome the daily challenges in their life and giving strategies or even prescribe assistive technology so that they can live and enjoy their life to the fullest.

The voice over that she has given is commendable as individual with CP tend to have a slurred and often forceful speech.

An athetoid variety of CP condition which she appears to play in the film has to continuously fight with jitters or tremors. Because of lack of smooth muscle tone, people with athetoid CP has to struggle more for attaining stability in activities of daily living. Because of these tremors and lack of proximal stability, athetoid CP individuals tend to walk in a gait pattern which is termed as “Athetoid Dance” as they is a distinct jerk felt at each step which is extremely vivid. It seems that she has put her heart and soul in observing these minute details as seen in the trailer as she has acted so gracefully, when she gets up from the wheelchair and Shahrukh says wheelchair toh dikhi hi nahi thi.

Our favourite shot is when Aafia (Anushka Sharma) truns down Bhauua’s (Sharukh Khan) advances unfettered by constraints of disability saying: Bahut Milenge tumare jaise! All said and done Anushka Sharma has done justice to her role, which perhaps was toughest she had faced so far!

On disability day today (3rd December 2018), hope more people start looking at people with disabilities (PWD) beyond their wheelchairs and other challenges.


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