Music lovers of all ages come together for Singathon

Competition celebrates love for singing

From five-year-old children to those in the their 80s, the preliminary round of Singathon, a competition for trained and untrained “bathroom” singers drew 350 participants on Sunday.

Part of the proceeds of Singathon, conceptualised by Manasi-Kelkar Tambe, daughter of Marathi singer Uttara Kelkar, will go towards a water conservation project. The competition was organised by Swarmaanas, founded by Ms. Tambe. Singathon’s aim is ‘Anybody can sing’.

“I had left my foundation course at the age of 24 due to family duties. But now I am back to basics, since my family is settled now. I can say, I have got back to my original love of singing,” said an elated 60-year-old Shubhada Gupte, one of the participants. Ms. Gupte sang an old romantic Bollywood number after having taken up a short-term singing course for the past one year.

Ten-year-old Nia Dhuru, who came with her parents for the second consecutive year and who was also a finalist last year, said she was a little more aware of the concept this year and more prepared. “I sang Lata Mangeshkar’s classic ‘Unse Mili Nazar’ this year. I would love to come here again next year even if I don’t win this year either.”

The youngest of the lot was five-year-old Isha Desai from Thane, who sang the children’s favourite, ‘Lakdi ki Kathi’.

This year, Singathon has tied up with Raah Foundation, an NGO working for the tribals of Jawahar and Mokhada in Palghar district. Part of the proceedings collected from the participants will be donated to a water conservation project for the underprivileged.

Ms. Tambe, who is a music teacher, said, “If people can run a marathon for a cause, why can’t they sing for a cause and call it a singathon? There is a singer hidden in everyone, and I am just trying to give them a much-needed impetus.”

Also a practising counsellor, Ms. Tambe said she has seen the happiness on the faces of people who come regularly for her weekly classes. “We are giving equal opportunity to everyone to try singing. I believe that singing is the only art that accompanies you till the last breath and gives you happiness.”

Sonia Risbood, chief operating officer of Raah Foundation, said Singathon is non-judgemental as it celebrates the spirit of singing. “I am happy that together we can work for the tribals of Jawhar in Palghar district.”

Fifteen shortlisted finalists, five from each age group, will perform on Friday at Veer Savarkar Auditorium, Dadar.

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