The nightingale of the Halakki Vokkaliga tribes, Sukri Bommagowda, has won the Padma Shri award for folk singing this year.
Vokkaligas are one of the three aboriginals of Uttara Kannada district.
Considered to be a treasure chest of songs, Sukri has a song for every occasion ranging from birth, marriage to death.
75-year-old Sukri began singing at an early age along with her mother has sung over 1,000 songs. Honoured with prestigious awards like Janapada Shri Award, Naduja Award and the Alva Nudisri Award, Sukri Ajji, as she is often addressed, is a member of Badiegiri Gram Panchayat in Karnataka.
She is a staunch supporter of women education and ban on alcohol in her village. Widowed at an early age, she became an agricultural labourer to earn her livelihood.
In an interview Sukri revealed,
I have achieved everything through practice. I did not know of books or pens and music recordings until recently. I do not like recorded music. Music has to be sung aloud. The rich heritage of folk art can be preserved only if the Halakkis teach their children these songs.
She is a lady with a beautiful voice, a magnificent soul and a humble living.
Daily routine of Padma awardee Sukri Bommagowda pic.twitter.com/GM2pqBPODtAdvertisement
— Shreeharsha Perla (@harshaperla) January 27, 2017
India in indeed a land of talent. And thankfully, we are recognising and appreciating such unique artists.