Bollywood actor Vidyut Jammwal’s interest in Indian martial art form, Kalaripayattu began when he was three years old, such is the story of BYJU’S Young Genius contestant Neelakandan Nair who impressed Vidyut with his swift moves. In a bid to popularise the indigenous martial art, Vidyut extended his support to the kid and his family by rewarding them with an amount of Five Lakhs.
Kalari is a way of life not just a martial art form for both Neelakandan and Vidyut. The actor had previously even shared a video clip of Neelakandan on his social media handles which had gone viral. Commenting on his appearance on the show, Vidyut shared, “I was very touched to see a junior version of me in Neelakandan. His passion and dedication to take Kalaripayattu to a global level at this age is a true inspiration. However, there is a necessity for government interventions and support to sustain this art form. As a reward for appreciation for all the hard work that he has been doing, I have shared a small amount that will hopefully help nurture his talent.”
Neelakandan’s inspiration was his soldier father, Mahesh Kumar R who has always been a strong pillar throughout his journey. He is currently learning Kalari at an academy in Alapuzzha and uses weapons like the stick, sword and shield while performing. He is being trained under Harikrishnan G, the
owner of Ekaveera Kalaripayattu Academy and Guinness record holder. Inspired by his guru, Neelakandan has also secured several accolades and aspired to take this art form to greater heights.
BYJU’S Young Genius is a News18 initiative that inspires young prodigies from different fields across the country. This new season features prodigies aged 6-15 years showcasing their superlative achievements, in a vibrant new avatar. These 22 geniuses have been chosen from 20,000+ aspiring and inspiring child prodigies across India from different fields such as performing arts, academics, technology, and sports, to name a few. Senior Anchor Anand Narasimhan is back along with celebrities like Shankar Mahadevan, Mouni Roy, Geeta Phogat, Pulela Gopichand, Geeta Kapoor amongst others who will be seen encouraging these young stars as they work towards putting their best foot forward.