UNIQUE FUNCTION IN MEMORY OF SHAMSHAD BEGUM & Sakha Awards 2013

Singer Simrat Chhabra & compere MamtaVani bestowed with Sakha Award by
Amarjit Singh Kohli & Padmashree Shanti Hiranand
Rich tributes were paid to legendary playback singer Shamshad Begum in a Unique Function organized on Tuesday, the 6th Aug at Epicentre, Gurgaon. On this occasion Sakha Awards 2013 were bestowed by Padmashree singer Shanti Hiranand to distinguished personalities for their respective contributions in various fields. Also the website of leading singer of the evening Simrat Chhabra www.simratchhabra.com was launched by Shanti Hiranand. The Function was organized jointly by Societies Pecoba (Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh Old Boys Association) and Sakha in collaboration with Epicentre, Gurgaon. 

Those honoured with Sakha Awards included Dr DR Saini, (principal, Delhi Public School,RK Puram), Saraswati Music College, Delhi represented by its head Vibhor Saini (College was originally established in 1924 in Lahore where singer Mohd Rafi and music director OP Nayyar were students for some time during their Lahore days), film music researcher Bhim Raj Garg of Chandigarh (whose encyclopaedia of Punjabi Film Geet Kosh is under print), music composers Mohinder Sarin and Chhote Lal, Satpal Narang of Gurgaon(radio and TV programs producer), lead singer of evening Simrat Chhabra and compere cum script writer Mamta Vani. Mr Amarjit Singh Kohli announced that due to peculiar situation these days, IAS Officer Durga Shakti Nagpal’s Award will be bestowed in next program.

LtoR- Vibhor Saini, DR Saini, Chhote Lal, MamtaVani, Ch Guest Padmashree Shanti Hiranand, 
Amarjit Singh Kohli (Chairman SAKHA), Simrat Chhabra, Satpal Narang, BR Garg, Mohinder Sarin
Speaking on the occasion Sakha Chairman and Pecoba General Secretary Amarjit Singh Kohli said that Shamshad Begum was highest paid singer of her time and even Lata Mangeshkar has sung in chorus in a few songs in which Shamshad Begum was the lead singer. In the song “aji khushian manayen kyoon na ham, ham kisi se…” from film “Khidki (1948)the lead singer is Shamshad while Lata is singing in chorus.Gramophone Record of this song was issued by Columbia Company in their Record No. GE 8088. Born on 14 April,1919 in Lahore, Shamshad was the oldest surviving playback singer of film industry. She died recently at the age of 94 in Mumbai on 23rd April, 2013. Although she had started singing in radio Peshwar and Lahore since 1937, she made her debut as playback singer in the Punjabi film Yamla Jatt produced by DM Pancholi in Lahore in 1940 in which actor Pran also made his debut as a hero. As her conservative father Miya Hussain Baksh had permitted her to sing in films on the condition that she will never get photographed during his life time, her first photograph was published only in 1970 when she was 51 years old. Shamshad was the recipient of Padma Bhushan Award in 2009.

Shamshad Begum, Playback Singer (April 14, 1919 – April 23, 2013)

The Function was followed by a program of musical homage to Shamshad Begum in which Shamshad’s songs were sung by lead singer Simrat Chhabra & others including Deepak Kumar, Arun Goela, Jitendra Srivastava, Parminder Chadha, Shailaja Madhvan and Ragni Mathur. In between the songs Shamshad’s journey of life was illustrated through slides and recorded interviews with those who knew Shamshad very well including her daughter Usha Ratra, film actresses Kamini Kaushal, Waheeda Rehman and Tabbasum, playback singer Meena Kapur, Nirmala Husan Lal (wife of music director Husan Lal) and radio Ceylon ex announcer Gopal Sharma.

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