Details Surrounding The Tragic Death Of 11-Year-Old Indian Talent Show Star
Neha Sawant, an 11-year-old student from Dombivli tragically passed away in 2010. She was found hanging by a dupatta, a traditional Indian scarf according to Times of India. She previously appeared on the Indian television show Boogie Woogie as a dancer.
Indian Television Star Neha Sawant Committed Suicide At The Age Of 11
Neha’s parents had gone to work for the day. When her sister returned home from school, she noticed the door to the living room was locked. “The door was locked from inside, so there is no question of foul play” Subhash Divekar, the Senior Inspector of Manpada Police Station said. “It is indeed a case of suicide. We are still investigating as to why she took the drastic step. We haven’t found any suicide note from the spot yet.”
“She could not open the door so she asked the neighbors to help,” Assistant Inspector V K Kambli said. “As soon as the neighbors opened the door they saw her hanging from the curtain rod in the living room. She was rushed to a private hospital where she was declared dead.”
Neha’s Family Had Stopped Her From Performing In Dance Shows
Neha had previously been a student at a dance academy which had propelled her to make several dance-related appearances on television. Her family did say that they had taken her out of dance classes because they wanted her to focus more on her schooling.
“She was very popular in the neighborhood for her performances” her father Narendra Sawant said. “People loved her moves. However, a year ago we realized that her studies were getting affected due to the contests and performances. So we pulled her out of the academy and stopped her from taking part in competitions.” This came after they were hesitant for her to perform on Boogie Woogie.
“I had left for work as usual on Saturday and she even had breakfast with me” he continued. “She did not say anything or do anything to suggest she would kill herself.”
“The child was an extremely good dancer,” her former dance instructor Shyam Patil said. “In fact, unlike most kids her age, she would dance with the older kids and do a great job of it. However, her family pulled her out of the classes a few months ago as they wanted her to concentrate on studies.” He tried to get Neha’s parents to reconsider pulling her out of dance classes but they seemed pretty adamant about their decision.
In 2009, The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) suggested that kids under 16 should not be allowed to participate in reality television shows. “Participating in these shows means that a child’s right to study and play gets crushed,” Sandhya Bajaj of NCPCR said. “They don’t grow up like normal children, as they are constantly living under the illusion of glamour and popularity. They can often get depressed if subjected to harsh jibes of the judges.”
Neha’s death raised questions about whether or not letting children participate in reality shows is harmful.