Asia’s most precious talent the supreme songstress Lata Mangeshkar has donated Re.1.crore to the soldier’s welfare fund.
She is loath to talk about her gesture. “Iss mein kaun si badi baat hai? Badi baat toh hamare jawaan kar rahen hain,jaan gawa rahen hain hamari khatir, hamare desh ki khatir.Unhe mera laakhon pranaam.”
About the donation Lataji says, “It’s the least I could do. We should be doing a lot more for the army .Considering what they do for us we can never repay their debt to us. However this doesn’t mean we should lie back and do nothing. Not only I , everyone from my family my brother and my sisters have donated whatever they could for the soldiers. Even my driver Mahesh has donated 5,000 rupees.”
Lataji says the Mangeshkars would donate to the Army Welfare fund on the occasion of her father Pandit Dinananth Mangeshkar’s death anniversary on April 24.
However the donation can’t wait.
Says Lataji, “Whatever the amount, the time to come forward with the donations is now when there is a crisis looming over the border. Our soldiers need to know we are with them in their hour of need. Why are giving up their lives to protect us? Because they love their country.Makes no sense to wait till my father’s death anniversary. Everyone should give what they can.”
Lataji is happy to see the entertainment industry coming forward with its support for armyjawaan. “We in this industry have always done our bit. Way back in the 1960s Sunil DuttSaab used to take his troupe(Ajanta Arts) to the border to entertain the soldiers. I’ve also been with Dutt Saab and his wife Nargisji on these tours .Whenever we can we’ve come pitched in to show our solidarity with the soldiers.”
Lataji is in favour of banning Pakistani artistes, “Until the differences on the political level are sorted out there’s no point in these cultural exchanges.I am sure Pakistan has good talent. But we are not short of talent.We can manage without them.”