Melinda Leanna Shankar (born February 18, 1992) is a Canadian actress from Ottawa, Ontario of Guyanese heritage best known for playing Alli Bhandari from the beginning of Season 8 in Degrassi: The Next Generation and Indira “Indie” Mehta on YTV series, ‘How to be Indie.’
Melinda made her starring mark in 2008 in the 8th season of Degrassi as Alli Bhandari, a confident young women in high school, which she continues to play. She co-starred in a Disney Channel Original Movie, ‘Harriet the Spy’ as Janie Gibbs alongside with Aislinn Paul, who plays Clare Edwards on Degrassi and Disney Channel’s Jennifer Stone. She played the lead role, Reshma, in a 2011 indie-film, entitled ‘Festival of Lights’. Melinda has a black belt in karate and she likes hockey. She is good friends with all of her Degrassi co-stars and confirmed that she will take time off of Degrassi to film ‘How to Be Indie,’ but she will be back some time soon. She has stated that she is friendly with all of her cast mates, but is close with Scott Paterson, Samantha Munro, Luke Bilyk, Munro Chambers, Alicia Josipovic, Jessica Tyler and Aislinn Paul, who is her best friend on the show.
Since age 3, she has been doing ballet and tap dancing.
Melinda took Scott Paterson (Johnny DiMarco) to her prom.
Her father owns a karate school (hence her black belt).