Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 4

Thirteen-year-old singer Payal Thakur has proved that disability is no
bar when it comes to achieving one’s goal. Payal, who is visually
impaired, will
respresent the country in the fifth International Children’s
Creativity Festival “We Can” at St Petersburg.On April 18, Payal, the
only Indian participating
in the event, will share the stage with special children from Romania,
France, Armenia, Ukraine and Russia, along with Russian celebrities.
The event is
being organised by a charity foundation “Kind People” supported by the
legislative assembly of St Petersburg and its committee for culture.A
formal invitation
on behalf of the foundation was sent to her by Governor Acharya
Devvrat on Wednesday in the presence of the president, National
Integrated Forum of Artists
and Activists (NIFAA), Preetpal Singh Punnu, who will escort Payal,
along with her uncle Devraj, to Russia.Payal, shot to fame from “Sa Re
Ga Ma Little
Champs” singing contest. Her performance was seen by “Kind People” on
YouTube and they wanted her to represent the country.Daughter of an
auto driver,
Tevinder Kumar, Payal, a Class VIII student, hails from Maddhar
village in Mandi and is presently living in Kullu. She is studying in
two schools — Government
Senior Secondary School for Girls, Sultanpur, (10 am to 1 pm) and
Chanderabha Memorial School for Blind (2 pm to 8 pm).An ardent music
lover, Payal, is
being coached in classical music by Pt Vidya Sagar Sharma for the past
five years and is conversant with computers with the help of speaking
early childhood, Payal used to tap the table and sing whenever music
was played on television and finding her interest towards music, we
decided to encourage
her,” her father said.A fan of Shankar Mahadevan and rapper Badshah,
Payal sings pahari, ghazals, classical, western, sufi and has
inclination towards
rapping. Her music video “Ek Nanhi Se Duniya” made for cancer patients
has more than 1 million views on YouTube.A gifted child, Payal picks
up the beats
and rhythm and starts singing, but never gets excited. When asked if
she was enthused to go to Russia, she said: “I am happy that I will
sing and people
will come to listen to me.”Punnu said Payal’s participation was
significant as it was the 70th year of Indo-Russian diplomatic
relations and what could
be a better way to stregthen the bond. The melodious voice of Payal
will certainly delight one and all.
article end

Avinash Shahi
Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU

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