Campaign heats up in Orissa for dance group's success on TV

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 20 (IANS) After relatives, friends and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, corporate houses and social activists have launched a campaign in Orissa for the success of 26 kids who have reached the final round of TV reality show "India's Got Talent".

The Prince Dance group that has 26 artistes from Berhampur town, nearly 180 km from here, has been selected out of the 45,000 competitors to perform in the grand final round of the show to be telecast live Aug 22 on Colors channel. In the finals these kids will compete with 10 other groups for the crown.

Hundreds of people including social activists, school children, college students Wednesday marched on the street of Berhampur town holding placards and asking people to vote for the group by sending SMS.

Dhamra Port company Limited - a joint venture of L&T and Tata steel - came out with an ad Thursday with the same appeal. The ad appeared on the front page of the Orissa edition of Times of India.

The ad read: "Prince Dance Group - a group consisting of workers and differently abled youth from Ganjam, Orissa have startled everyone by making it to the finals in 'India's Got Talent', a reality show on Color TV. Let's make them win by sending our votes. Voting open till 11.00 p.m. Aug 22 and as many as 100 votes can be sent from same mobile phone.

The dance group has already got appreciation from the chief minister, who watched the show on television, spoke to team leader Krishna Mohan Reddy over phone Sunday and congratulated him.

Relatives and neighbours of the artistes have been praying for their success.

Mostly below 22, none of them are professional dancers. Their 26-year-old dance teacher Reddy said he also never had any formal training.

They danced to the tune of "Sare Jahan Se Acha" and the audience and the judges -- Shekhar Kapur, Kirron Kher and Sonali Bendre -- were spellbound.

"It's a world class act. I have travelled the world, but today I can proudly say I am an Indian," said Kapur after their performance.

"We are practising for more than eight hours every day. We hope people of our state will vote for us in large numbers," Reddy told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

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