Visually-impaired Roopvarsha, a singer par excellence

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Sep 2018 10:49:12



By Dr Abhinav Mishra


“ABLED does not mean enabled. Disabled does not mean less abled”, said an artist Khang Kijarro Nguyen. Likewise, Roopvarsha Kerketta, a visually-challenged tribal girl, has won millions of hearts by her mellifluous voice. Roopvarsha, aged 19 and presently studying in class 12th at ‘Government Higher Secondary School for ‘Blind and Deaf Mute’, situated at Mathpurena in District Raipur, has overcome blindness and other obstacles to find success on national stage. She has brought laurels to the state by getting selected and performing at the prestigious national programme called “Meri Aawaz Suno” organized and telecast by Doordarshan Channel on Television. Moreover, she received accolades across the state when her orchestra group secured 2nd position in an International competition for physically-challenged persons at Bhubaneswar (Odisha).

Recognizing the talent of this golden-voiced girl Roopvarsha, Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh had felicitated her on the occasion of ‘International Day of Persons with Disability’ i.e. on December 3rd and wholeheartedly eulogized her. Moreover, veteran Bollywood singer Abhijeet had also highly appreciated her singing talent.Recollecting memories and sharing her feelings, this visually-impaired girl with God-gifted melodious voice said, “I have been fond of singing since my childhood. I idolize Lata Mangeshkar and I regard her to be the personification of Goddess Saraswati. I practiced singing the songs sung by the legend. My teachers, schoolmates and Superintendent sir motivated me to participate in ‘Meri Aawaz Suno’ programme organized by Doordarshan and I applied for participating in that reputed programme. Around 200 blind children across the country were called by the organizers and after a tough screening only 10 children were selected. And I feel very proud to say that 2 children amongst the selected 10 candidates, hailed from Chhattisgarh. One was me and other was Sarita Dewangan”.

Audience across the state went gaga over the songs sung by Roopvarsha at the programme on Doordarshan. She sang two Bollywood songs of yesteryears on the national platform, originally performed by Lata Mangeshkar, namely “Itna toh yaad hai mujhe” of the movie “Mehboob ki Mehendi” and “Dil me tujhe bithake” of the film “Fakeera”.

She has also formed an orchestra group with 10 members, which had performed at important places like CM House and at major cities of Chhattisgarh. Her orchestra team-members are her visually-challenged schoolmates and plays musical instruments like Tabla, Dholak, Naand and electronic synthesizer. When they all perform, the audience invariably gets mesmerized and applauds them zealously. By successful performance at several renowned programmes, Roopvarsha earned name and fame across the state, and has gained a celebrity status. She is now famously called as “svarvarsha”, which literally means “fountainhead of svar”.

Ashoka Tiwari, Superintendent of Government School for Blind and Deaf Mute, Raipur said, “Roopvarsha is a gifted singer and a studious and disciplined student, who can prove to be an inspiration for other Divyaang children of our state. Once, when she was performing in our school function few years ago, I noticed her extraordinary talent of singing, and I requested the music teacher of the school to put more effort and devote extra time to hone her skills. Moreover, scores of people from across the state including philanthropists and NGOs, have come forward to support Roopvarsha and groom her talent”.

“To give her exposure, I had put my personal effort and took her to music studios of Raipur like Siraj studios and Raag studios, and recorded her songs, which are available online in YouTube channel, so that music lovers can get to know about Roopvarsha and admire her talent. Thanks to Raag studios, which free of cost recorded 8 songs sung by her, including Bollywood numbers and Chhattisgarhi folk songs, with the sole motive to provide her a sound professional platform. These songs are wonderful and foot-tapping, and and are getting overwhelming response from the audience”, added her mentor Ashoka Tiwari enthusiastically.

Roopvarsha originally belongs to a small tribal-dominated village Bodapahri in Bagicha block of Jashpur District, and her father is a farmer and mother a housewife. The eyes of her mother, Sunita, got welled up when she said, “My daughter has made me and my village proud. She never let her disability to come in the way to achieve success. God-willing, may she achieve prosperity in her future life!!”

She took admission as a small kid in Class 6th at the Government school for Blind at Raipur, and it has been nearly a decade that she has been an integral part of the school. Besides being singer par brilliance, she is also good in her studies, and has passed all her academic examinations with flying colours.This gifted singer aspires to be an IAS officer. She said with a broad smile on her face, “I came to know that Pranjal Patil madam is our country’s first visually challenged woman to clear UPSC civil services examination and getting selected for IAS. She is truly inspirational, and proves that if people like us have self-belief and determination, we can also reach the zenith of success”.