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News |  17 Aug 2006 18:51 |  By RnMTeam

L`iL Champ Diwakar wins hearts worldwide

"Losing or winning does not matter. It`s the spirit of taking part in the competition and learning from the experience that matters." L`iL Champ Diwakar had this to say when the judges were about to announce whether it was him or Armaan being eliminated this week.

12 year old Delhiite Diwakar Sharma has got the world glued to the reality musical talent hunt show L`iL Champs. His character, strength and talent are unmistakable. A story of courage, determination and passion is what Diwakar is all about.

Director of the show Gajendrra Siingh says, "Diwakar is the source of joy on the sets and is getting an amazing response from viewers all over the world. It`s his positive attitude and remarkable composure and confidence that is getting him noticed. He is proving to be an icon for children his age. Not once has he made us feel that he needs special treatment because of his visual disability. He is cheerful and always smiling."

The response team at Zee has been inundated with mails from viewers all across the globe who are inspired with Diwakar and wish to help him regain his sight. All mails are heartfelt messages from viewers who make it clear that it is not sympathy that they are offering but, genuinely want to encourage and applaud his talent.

Here are a few samples of responses that Zee TV has received for the wonder kid:

Says Deepak from Haryana, "I shall feel obliged if you could please suggest his parentsto contact me.God willing, your favour can bring light to the boy."

Says Rajesh from Mumbai, "You can change his life. It`s not sympathy. We should appreciate his ability."

Satish from Gujarat says, "We want to send him 2 DVD titles of Erik, the first blind man to touch the top of the Everest, the ultimate height of the world. It is inspirational for him also."

Bhat from Bangalore say, "Convey my special wishes to Little Prince of our heart and millions in India & the globe..Diwakar & his parents- we all wish HIM success in this program and also in future."

Jessie from Singapore and Sushma from Nainital says, " I want to donate my eyes to you after my death. Contact me at¦."

This Radio & Music Reporter correspondent caught up with Diwakar and his parents in Mumbai. Born to Sunil & Alka Sharma, Diwakar is the older of two sons. Alka, a doctor, gave up her practice when he was an year old and his visual disability was confirmed. Sunil, an engineer, runs a coaching class. But, their sole aim in life is to give Diwakar the platform to showcase his singing talent.

They recollect his first sign of showing interest to music. Says Sunil, "At the age of two, he kept hearing the songs from the film Macchis and one day rendered it so well that it astounded us as he got all the classical nuances perfect. It is true in his case that he sang before he spoke. We have recordings from his very early years. He goes to normal school and has participated in and won many competitions from a very young age. He can even play any keyboard instrument and that too without any formal training. Recognising his ability, we have dedicated our lives to making his dream of becoming a singer true."

Diwakar is articulate, and mature far beyond his years. His sense of understanding a situation or reacting to it comes from his avid interest in reading. Using the Jaws software, he is well versed in the usage of the computer for his studies and other interests. He is a good student in school getting over 90 per cent and attends regular school.

"I have read all the Harry Potter series and have enjoyed them all. I like reading children`s classics and books on History. I take part in quiz contests and writing competitions. My knowledge and versatility in language comes from the fact that I read a lot. I love writing compositions in school and mostly score the highest in them because my teachers say that I express myself very well," says Diwakar.

"Music is what comes to me naturally and I have no other goal in my life but, to become a professional singer. The love and affection I get from performing in front of audiences and I feel humbled when people tell me that they are encouraged and inspired seeing me."

His parents speak of the times they go to eat at a restaurant & till their order arrives, Diwakar starts his practice and entertains all around. "Coming on the show L`iL Champs has got him more recognition and people just come to us, bless him and encourage him. From three hours of daily practise for years, he now rehearses endlessly to get all songs right for the competition. We know in our hearts that he is yet to give his best performance on the show."

On his stay in Mumbai, Diwakar says, "The only thing I miss is home cooked rajma chawal and katochris from Delhi Haat. When I went home recently during a break, I ate so much that I got an upset stomach. I always manage to convince my parents to take me to Only Paranthas and the eating joints at Infinity Mall to eat close to homelike Punjabi food."

He has performed in front of the President of India A.P.J Abdul Kalam, various foreign dignitaries, famous Bollywood singers and regularly performs in front of thousands of people in stadiums in Delhi and other northern states. Every year, he holds court in his school on Childrens Day when he regales his teachers and children with a non stop performance for over three hours.

But he reveals his masti side too. He is like any child his age, always up to pranks. Sunil speaks of receiving telephone bills of over Rs 6000, only to find out to his horror that Diwakar has been using the MTNL Hotline facility and playing Snakes and Ladders, taking part in various quiz contests and listening to music requests.

"I started using the phone when KBC came on air. I take part in quiz competitions and kept dialling the number to get thru to KBC and answering the various questions they ask. I modulate my voice like an adult and have fooled many MTNL helpline officers. It is entertaining and I have a lot of phone friends," says Diwakar. Adding with a smile, "The thrashing I get later from my family when they see such exhorbitant bills is painful no doubt."

Many years ago, Diwakar has performed with Abhijeet and Bappi Lahiri. He is fond of Bappi Lahiri. He realises his mistakes when performing and the fact that he acknowledges it on the show is what makes him more endearing. He is a fast learner and stays in touch with his guru in Delhi for hours before the shoot till he gets the song perfect.

Speaking affectionately about L`iL Champs director Gajendrra Siingh, he says, "He has put me in charge of all the other L`iL Champs during our stay in Mumbai. In effect, I am the monitor of the group. I am waiting to sing my parent`s choice of song in the upcoming episode."

On Mumbai, he says, "The city needs sunlight. It also has to be cleaned up. The smells are too much to take." Coming from Delhi`s clean wide roads and abundant sunlight, he makes a good observation."

Tushar from Houston, an ex alumni from Diwakar`s school, has this to say, "He is a true champion, big at heart and attitude. Just watching him perform moves us all and certainly gives us hope. He belongs to the rare breed of individuals who are gifted to inspire and lead. We have learnt through Diwakar that no matter how difficult the circumstances, there is always something positive, something to look forward to, something truly joyful and fulfilling. The human spirit that Diwakar embodies is what brings us together and makes us succeed. His confidence in dealing with the comments from the judges is commendable and speaks of the self-esteem, values and spirit instilled in him by his family, teachers and mentors."

Diwakar is gifted with a remarkable singing talent. His unique style of playing the keyboard and sensational style of singing has amazed the public. He strikes a chord with his harmonious singing and his confidence.

Way to go Diwakar!