#WhereAreThey: It took us 10 years to reach a pan-India competition: Prince Group
It’s been ten years since they mesmerised India with their dance and performance abilities. The first season winners of the reality show India’s Got Talent (IGT), The Prince Group led by T. Krishna Mohan Reddy, says winning the show put them on the map.
“It’s been so long yet it feels like yesterday. Even today, we are unable to believe that we won a pan-India competition. It was a dream which came true. It is God’s grace that we were able to make a mark and showcase our talent in front of millions. Winning the competition in 2009 helped us make a name but also a chance at a better life. Our struggle had begun years before we participated in IGT. We would participate in smaller competitions and it took 10 years before we got to IGT. We are happy that we won the show as it was a big deal for us, coming from the humble background that we do,” shares Reddy, whose troupe had participants from age 15 to 37. They won a car which is still with them and the 26 group members divided the R50 lakh prize money by taking one lakh each.
He adds, “We build our academy with the rest which is where we practise and live. The Odisha government had promised R2 crore and some land post our win and today, building ban gaya hai par inauguration nahin hua hai ab tak. It was planned before the pandemic but things were stalled.”
After their win, many parents brought their kids to the academy for training. Many live with them since 8-10 years, go to school and even college. “Ham sab mil ke rehte hain. We manage our expenses through money earned via live shows. My dream is to take care of my students and hope they take the group forward after me. Whatever I do, it is for them.I never think negative and believe in moving forward,” he explains.
Reddy is pleased that people still remember them which is not the case with the other winners of IGT. He feels lucky that they are called for live shows and programs in India and abroad. “Before the pandemic, we used to Qatar, London, Dubai and many countries for our dance shows and we did many shows for a number of event companies in India as well. They have been wonderful and we enjoyed. In the last two years, we haven’t been able to travel for dance shows. It has been tough for the troupe and there are financial issues. We look forward to performing live shows,” he hopes, adding they teach kids in schools for competitions as well.
They have also made a movie on their lives and experiences called Krishna: Story of A Dancer while Reddy will be seen in a Hindi film as well. “I know that after winning to think that we became celebrities or stars, it would be wrong. We won because of hard work and support and blessings of many people. If we didn’t have that stage, people wouldn’t have known us, if we didn’t have the channel, audiences wouldn’t have heard about us, if event companies didn’t support us, we wouldn’t have been able to sustain for all these years. Mil kar kaam karna hai, and main sab mein ek hoon. Jab tak hum aise rehenge, tab tak hamare shows challenge. Agar hum badal gaye toh sab badal jaayega,” he ends