Sakti Swarupa Bir
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Sakti Swarupa Bir is the fourth child of Shri Durga Madhab Bir and Smt Durgavad Bir. She had come to Anjali in 2002 as a participant. With 90% impairment in speech and hearing, it is magical to watch Sakti moving to the rhythm of the music. Not only does she understand the nuances of the lyrics, but her expressions also dance to the rhythm, not missing a beat or emotion.
Swabhiman selected her as an Anjali Scholar in 2002-03 and supported her dance training. She has been trained under Guru Chittaranjan Acharya. Today, she has established herself as a dancer of repute. Her life’s struggle was captured by a famous filmmaker in the film ‘Hamari Beti’ which reached all the way to Chicago in the International film festival of 2006. She has been awarded with Red Cross Award, Anjali Award and Nrutya Bhusan Award. Swabhiman provided her scholarship, exposed her potential by presenting her as an Odissi artist in over 25 local and state-level programs.
Our peak achievement in terms of advocacy came when Dr Sruti Mohapatra was able to convince the Chairman of a top school in Odisha, Sai International School, to conduct an interview of teachers with disabilities for their school. In a first in India, a person with speech and hearing impairment has been working as an Odissi dance teacher in a mainstream school since 24th June 2012, shattering obstacles in the way of an inclusive space.
“On a more personal level, more than the Anjali scholarship, the many platforms I got to perform on reinforced my self-confidence and gave me greater powers of resilience. I am truly grateful to Swabhiman.”