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Meet Padma Shri Lakha Khan who defied poverty to pursue music


Lakha Khan, who has been selected for the prestigious Padma Shri award by President Ram Nath Kovind, has pursued his music as a sarangi player defying extreme poverty. He is among the folk singers and musical instrument players from western Rajasthan, who have taken their music to great heights.

Lakha Khan has been playing the Sindhi sarangi whose strings produce magical eye-pleasing notes. The maestro belongs to Raneri village, a desert hamlet in the Jodhpur district. The Sindhi sarangi instrument has 27 strings and it is difficult to play it with the bow. One needs tremendous practice to synchronise with all the 27 strings with a bow to produce resounding notes.

Pursued music in extreme poverty

Khan, who belongs to the Manganiyar singers of the desert, has pursued his love for music facing poverty. The Manganiyar singers before winning international recognitions used to make their living by singing in marriages and other functions.

Lakha Khan sings in Marwari, Sindhi Multani and Punjabi dialects and plays the sarangi while his son Dane Khan, who accompanies him as the dholak player. Their jugalbandi is very popular even in Pakistan particularly in the Sindh province as they render songs in the Sindhi language.

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Their recorded music is heard by people in Pakistan also.

It was late Komal Kothari, who more than four-decade ago discovered the talents of the Lakha and the Manganiyar community singers and instrumentalists and gave them patronage. The rich folk music made even the westerners love it because of its typical folk touch.

Lakha Khan performed in Europe, US

Lakha Khan took up music when he was a child and in the last five decades, he has performed in Europe and the United States and his Sufi numbers have a very large following.

He is a happy man after being conferred with the title of Padma Shri and feels that it is an honour that has come to the Manganiyar community.


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