We are happy to share with you all the fantastic news about our student of the past 13 years, Sakshi. A bright and sharp girl, she initially started singing to pass the time. But as she grew older, our well-wisher and patron, Payal Sarda and Snehalaya caregivers realized that she had a special talent. All the encouragement and persuasion has recently paid off when Sakshi became the runner-up of the prestigious, ‘Secret Superstar’ competition in Pune. Sakshi was one of the 50 shortlisted, from over 150 competitors in the preliminary round, chosen to perform two songs in Pune.
Sakshi chose the Marathi song, ‘Gorya Gorya Galavari’ originally sung by Yogita Godbole in the film ‘Tuzya Mazya Sansarala ani Kav Hav’ for which she received a standing ovation and huge applause from the audience. Her second song, ‘Zindagi Pyar ka Geet Hai’ originally sung by legendary Lata Ji in ‘Souten’ also received an overwhelming response from the crowd. When the results were announced, Sakshi was overjoyed to be chosen as the runner-up from so many talented participants.
Here Sakshi talks about her achievements, her future plans and thanks those who contributed to her success.
Hello Sakshi and heartiest Congratulations on your success. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am from Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. I am 15 years old and I have lived with my Snehalaya Family since 2008. I am in 10th standard at Snehalaya English Medium School. Singing has been my passion for a long time now. When I’m not singing, I love to chat and spend time with my friends.
How does it feel to have received the ‘Secret Superstar’ Award? What does it mean to you?
It still feels like a dream come true. I had practiced a lot for the competition but the moment I actually received the award my heart missed a beat and I couldn’t believe what I heard. But obviously, it was true.
Also, it was an honor to share the stage with so many renowned artists and stalwarts like Avdhoot Gupte Ji and Vaishali Samant Ji and all the judges. They not only encouraged me and clapped for me but also joined me when I performed on the stage which was something I will remember for the rest of my life.
This award means a lot to me. I feel I have started on the right path towards achieving my dream of becoming a professional singer.
How has Snehalaya supported and encouraged you to take music seriously?
Snehalaya had played a major part in encouraging me to sing. They helped me to realize that I can achieve miracles through singing and have helped me build my confidence. When I was small my caregiver Chandrakant Shembade sir, who happened to be my first caregiver, heard me singing to myself. He not only encouraged me but also taught me a patriotic song “Mera Mulkha Mera Desh”. This was the first song I performed publicly. It was my first stage performance and I still clearly remember singing this song.
Did you receive any formal training in music and who were your gurus?
Initially, when I started singing, I had not received any formal training. I used to just learn a song by heart and imitate whatever I heard. But one day, a few years ago, Snehalaya’s well-wisher and patron, Payal Sarda madam from Care for You Foundation heard me sing, acknowledged my talent and encouraged me to keep practising. She must have felt that I should receive some formal training so she went ahead and introduced me to a very renowned teacher and singer in Ahmednagar, Angad Gaikwad sir, Anjali Gaiwad’s father, who agreed to train me. This was a turning point, his way of teaching made me fall in love with singing and he gave me much-needed motivation and support. I also received a lot of love and encouragement from my Snehalaya family which helped me blossom further.
What song do you mostly sing? What do you like about the song?
One of my favorite songs is from the ‘90s film Imaandaar; ‘Aur Iss Dil Mein’ sung by the legendary singers Suresh Wadkar and Asha Bhosle. I love both the music as well as the lyrics of this song. It is a very emotional song and the words have a magical effect on anyone’s mind.
What type of songs do you like to listen to?
I listen to all types of songs and music. But what I listen to at a particular time is completely dependent on my mood.
How do you feel when you sing?
When I sing a song that is associated with a particular actress, I feel like I am the actor playing the role on the screen or in the movie. I actually live the songs I sing.
What are the basic life lessons have you learned through music?
I feel music teaches many life lessons. Some of the lessons I have learnt are to wake up early and do my ‘Riyaaz’ or study music. I have also learned that success can only be achieved through hard work and tremendous practice. Music and performing in public has helped me to believe in myself and given me confidence that I can achieve something with my life. Performing on a stage has helped improve my body language, especially the way I should stand, hold the microphone and the way I should dress. Most importantly I have learnt to enjoy my life and the beautiful journey it is.
Have you won any other awards for your music?
Yes, I have won three awards so far, one in 2018 in Ahmednagar and the other in 2019 in Nashik but this is my first runner-up trophy.
What is your dream for the future?
I dream of becoming an excellent singer, but I also want to help people in whatever way I can, so that they too can live better lives and survive against all odds.
There are many more stars like Sakshi in Snehalaya who have hidden talents and abilities. Our team encourages these talents helping our children to grow in different ways to achieve their own dreams. How -ever we also rely on the encouragement and beliefs of like-minded supporters. Snehalaya is sincerely grateful to all of our donors and well-wishers for always being with us and our beneficiaries.
You can listen to Sakshi's experience in Marathi as well as English via the following link.