Filmmaker Amole Gupte, who rallies for special kids’ rights to attend regular school under the Sarva Shikhshan Abhiyaan, has found a singer in a 10-year-old autistic boy, Aditya Chakraborthy. The boy sang Tere andar bhi kahin… for the soundtrack of Stanley Ka Dabba.
“I celebrate his special abilities as a musician. He’s a sheer genius, a wonder boy at his age. I don’t look at him the way the world does. For me, he’s a specially-abled kid who can sing and play the piano really well,” says the filmmaker, who previously scripted Aamir Khan’s directorial debut, Taare Zameen Par (2007), based on the struggles of a dyslexic boy.
“I don’t make films for entertainment. Every film of mine has a purpose, and Stanley Ka Dabba is no exception. My work for getting these kids their own place in schools and eventually in the society doesn’t stop with a film. In fact, it’s only the starting point.”
Gupte met the child musician at his school during a function. “More kids should have friends like Amole. He’s really supported Adi. There are few who appreciate a child, who socialises, speaks and behaves differently from the others,” says Aditya’s mother Sujata.
“I’ve never treated Adi as someone with a disability, just like Amole. He’s brilliant with academics, though he needs to work harder on maths. He’s a trained swimmer.”
The 10-year-old is formally trained in the Gandharva school of music. He is also taking piano lessons and is training in another form of music from a London-based school. “He just heard a tune, and in 30 minutes he was playing it exactly the way it was, without even reading a note,” beams Gupte. “For me, Aditya is more intelligent than the pseudo intellectual adults I often meet.”