Polio-crippled Indian joins the race for Oscars

Meerut, Feb 3: Overcoming his polio handicap, an Indian man joined the race for Oscars from a non-descript part of Meerut after appearing as the lead protagonist in the Oscar nominated documentary 'The Final Inch'.

Mohammad Gulzar Saifi, who lives in Dibai in Meerut, has been a victim of polio since he was seven-month-old. He can't stand without the support of walkers.

Life had something else in store for him when Irene, director of the film offered him the chance to play the lead role in the documentary, based on him.

Now that the film has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2009 Academy Awards, Gulzar Saifi has been experiencing a dramatic change in his life.

People are congratulating him with flowers and garlands. Visibly excited Mohammad Gulzar Saifi said that his inclusion in the Oscar race is like a dream.

"The nomination of the Oscar is like a dream to me. I think human tendencies are like that when one dream is not yet fully realized, one started to dream of another. But one of my dreams has been fulfilled, now I wish for another to win the Oscar for India and celebrate in every family with joy inndia."

Excited Shamil Ahmad, brother of Gulzar Saifi expressed joy that the film has been nominated for the Oscar.

"They have shown the pain and suffering of the people suffering from polio. Gulzar Saifi himself is also the victim of polio. Till date, lots of movies have been made based on the subject of polio, but this movie was appreciated by the Oscar jury and has been nominated for the Oscar," said Shamil Ahmad, Gulzar Saifi's brother.

Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, 'The Final Inch' is a 38-minute film about the historic global effort to eradicate polio. By Vijay Pratap Singh

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com