Lost light, did not dare… Story of the real hero of the film Andhadhun, from whom Ayushmann Khurrana took training

Hemendra was one of the smartest and brightest students in his class when he studied in Mumbai. He used to play cricket in such a way that people used to call him Pollard. Think how good his eyesight must have been then. Then something happened and Hemendra stopped seeing everything except the shadow. The bright world turned dark. My mind was so broken that even tried to commit suicide twice. But now this is a thing of the past. Hemendra made this weakness his biggest strength.

Hemendra Pratap Singh, a resident of Madiyahu in the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh, is a bank manager in Lucknow even today, and also trains blind people. He trained Ayushmann Khurrana for three months for the blind character in the film Andhadhun. Apart from this, he is working with Abhishek Bachchan in the web series Breath Into the Shadow-Season-3, and he is also working in many Marathi films.

But was it all that easy? How difficult is it for the eyes that have seen the beauty of the world to always be in the dark? Hemendra not only accepted this challenge, today he is an example for thousands of people like him.

Hemendra Pratap Singh with Ayushmann Khurrana.

Roshni, who was at the age of 16, is suffering from a disease called optic neuritis. Worldwide, about 25,000 thousand cases of this disease are reported every year. They are not visually impaired, they are visually impaired. They see a shadow. During his school days, when he was 16 years old, he lost about 95 percent of his vision. Recalling that day, Hemendra says, ‘One day I was sitting in the class. The teacher was writing something on the blackboard. I thought it was blurry. I ignored him. But the very next day the same problem happened again, so I came forward from behind and sat down. Since then, day by day my eyesight has been decreasing. Even while playing cricket, I lost sight of the ball. Every ball used to go wide when he came down to the bowl. Then I realized that now I am losing my eyesight.

Hemendra has also worked in the film Andhadhun.

But he didn’t give up. He took care of himself and continued his studies. After graduating, he studied D.Ed from Maharashtra and started teaching special children. After this, in 2016 he joined an NGO and started working as a special educator. He started training people like himself. In a few months, he got promoted and he started teaching maths to the children.

Trying to end everything, Hemendra used to play cricket. He was a good hitter for his team. But after losing his eyesight, he got frustrated with life. He told NBT Online, ‘If people call Pollard if he suddenly stops seeing him, then he will be sad. When I started getting worried, my mother and father thought that maybe the village would be good for me. I have come to the village. But even there people used to taunt me. Say that look at it, it is smart to see. Used to play cricket. But now I can’t see.’

Hemendra trains people like himself.

‘During the treatment, I was given steroids, due to which my weight increased to 126 kg. Stayed in the hospital for three months. I could not believe that I would have to live in a world without eyes. I went into so much depression that I tried suicide twice. Hemendra says sadly.

The station master showed that it was dark all around. Hemendra wanted his old time again. One day he was waiting for his brother sitting at a railway station in Mumbai. ‘He had a can in his hand, which is carried by the visually impaired. When I asked him to sit, he refused. He told that he is the station master of this station. His words changed my mind. Then I thought when this person can fight, why can’t I.’

Hemendra explains that after this incident, he decided to help people who cannot see. During this time he joined the National Blind Association and there he started training people like himself.

Hemendra will soon be seen in a film with Amit Sadh.

The trend of Ayushmann for Andhadhun proved to be the turning point for Hemendra. He tells that one day he was giving tanning to the visually impaired who came from all over the country. Then suddenly there was a stir in the class. After some time I came to know that the entire team of film Andhadhun is watching my work. I continued working. Ayushmann Khurrana and the film’s director Shriram came to me after the class was over. I took them to the canteen of my NGO to have coffee. The most special thing about that canteen was that all the people working there were like me. Sriram sir and Ayushmann Khurrana were surprised to know that I have trained those people.

After seeing this, it was decided that I would train Ayushmann for Andhadhun. For about three months, trained Ayushmann Khurrana on how to live the real life of the visually impaired. How do they walk, how do they get off the ladder, how do they use the can. I taught him many such nuances. The film came and became a hit. After this Ayushman called me and congratulated me. Apart from this, Hemendra trained Shashank Ketkar and heroine Reena Agarwal for the Marathi film 21 Days.

Of Marathi film, will now be seen with Abhishek Bachchan, Hemendra recently played the role of a normal person in the Marathi film Drishti. He trained Gurmeet Choudhary as the visually impaired character for Shubho Bijoy in the 2019 film. Apart from this, he will be seen opposite Abhishek Bachchan in the third season of the web series Breath: Into the Shadows, in which he has played the role of a cyber officer. The film also stars Amit Sadh. Another web series Dharavi Bank is coming up with Bollywood actors like Suniel Shetty and Vivek Oberoi. In this, there is a character of Luke Kenny who cannot see, Hemendra has trained him.

Hemendra Pratap Singh.

Fitness lover focused on a 42 km marathon, Hemendra starts his day by running and gym. He is preparing for a 42 km marathon. He has participated in many competitions including Mumbai Marathon, Delhi Marathon, and Bangalore Marathon. For fitness, he motivates people on social media. Create reels on Instagram and share pictures of gyms. They want to advance their marathon innings.

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