Since its inception, Bollywood has witnessed the rise of many child artistes, some of whom have grown up to be stars while others have faded into oblivion. The past year witnessed some promising child artistes, who captured our hearts not only with their cute looks but with their acting skills.

These immensely talented kids have acted with integrity and dedication and have shown the world what they are capable of even at this tender age! Following are the nominations for the Best child artiste of 2016. We know they all were darn good, but pick your favourite and vote!

Diya Chalwad as Naomi – Rocky Handsome

Diya is a child model cum actor from Mumbai, who has worked in commercials and TV soaps before making her Bollywood debut with this John Abraham starrer Rocky Handsome . She essayed Naomi, the daughter of a single mother, who is into drug addiction.
Naomi develops an adorable chemistry with her neighbour, Rocky (John Abraham), who she fondly addresses as ‘handsome’. Former RAW agent Rocky gradually grows fond of the child and rescues her from a gang of drug peddlers. Through her kind gesture, Naomi won the heart of a ruthless criminal in the film, while Diya Chalwad left us smitten by her looks and acting! This extremely cute 8-year-old pulled off the film with the ease of a veteran, yet her eyes reflect innocence!

Abigail Eames as Gaura – Shivaay

British child artiste Abigail Eames is a known name in Hollywood films as well as English television series. She made her Bollywood debut with Shivaay where she essayed Shivaay’s (Ajay Devgn) deaf-mute daughter, Gaura. Although she didn’t have dialogues, Abigail put up an impressive show. The 12-year-old bonded well with her on-screen father and the song Raatein beautifully reflects their chemistry. She was nominated for The Screen Award for Best Child Artist for the film.

Zaira Wasim as young Geeta – Dangal

Apart from Aamir Khan, if anyone else deserves mention for their performance in Dangal , it’s the girls! Zaira Wasim essayed young Geeta Phogat in the film. The 16-year-old actress from Kashmir has earlier worked in TV commercials, before debuting in Bollywood with Dangal. She not only looks beautiful but is a very talented actress. Gold medal winning wrestler Geeta Phogat herself appreciated Zaira’s performance in her biopic, saying, “Wrestling is not an easy sport. Despite not being a wrestler herself or a sportswoman, Zaira played the role realistically.”

Suhani Bhatnagar as young Babita – Dangal

Suhani Bhatnagar grabbed eyeballs in Dangal for her cuteness! This 10-year-old Delhi kid has worked in TV commercials before debuting with Dangal, where she essayed the role of young Babita Kumari. What makes Suhani stand out are her expressive eyes! This child acts through her eyes, which not many of her age can. Her chemistry with Zaira Wasim (who plays young Geeta) makes the viewer feel as if they are sisters in real life too!

Ritwik Sahore as Omkar – Dangal

This Mumbai boy was first seen in Sharman Joshi starrer Ferrari Ki Sawaari (2012). Ritwik plays young Omkar (Mahavir Singh Phogat’s nephew) in the film. He successfully lays the foundation for Aparshakti Khurrana (who plays the grown-up Omkar) and pulls off the role comfortably. The 16-year-old’s acting is natural and spontaneous. He makes the audience laugh in scenes where he is being dragged to practice wrestling despite being reluctant, and gets defeated by his cousin sisters.

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