Her energy defies her age. Her work defies the secure life she has lived so far. For, today she goes around slums scouting for new talent. Meet Sector 50 resident Putul Ghosh, who wants to do something over and above the ordinary. Ghosh has been holding a singing competition for under-privileged children for the three years now. Named Diamonds in the Dusk, the show aims at promoting talented singers who live in slums all around Delhi and NCR regions. "I used to see Sa Re Ga Ma, Indian Idol and other such reality shows on TVs and always wondered what would the poor children be thinking about these. Surely, they too have talent but because of their background they never get a chance to showcase it," she says. That was when three years back, in 2009, she floated the idea of holding a singing competition for poor children at a Rotary Club meeting of which was a member. "Being a Rotarian, I have been visiting villages and slums quite regularly. I always wanted to do something other than holding teaching academics to them. Seeing these reality shows, I got the idea of holding such a show for the poor children," she says.
The idea was accepted and Ghosh set about visiting each slum and village with renewed vigour. She was able to locate 200 children of different age groups who were interested in singing. After three rounds of auditions, 30 children were selected for the finals, who were then trained under experts.
"We divided the children in four groups based on four music gharanas and hired music teachers for each group. A grand show was then held at the Amity Auditorium in Sector 44," she adds. "We gave a certificate to each participant while the winners were also given prizes," she says.
The next year, in 2010, Ghosh thought about branching out of the shadow of Rotary Club. "I wanted to do this annually and make it a regular feature. So along with a 12 friends formed a trust, Event Plus Charitable Trust, and also gave the name Diamond in the Dusk to the show we were going to hold for the poor kids," she says.
This show was held at Defence Services Officers Institute, Dhaula Kuan in New Delhi. "My husband who retired from the Army helped us get the place for holding the show. Managing funds was difficult. Earlier it was Rotary now I was all alone. I couldn't do it on a grand scale but did manage a decent show," she says.
Ghosh doesn't want to stop at this. She plans to promote the winning children further. "I am in touch with some eminent singers and cassette companies who can bring out audio cassettes of the songs sung by these children," she says. "Some of these kids really have good voice, and a little help would really boost their morale and help them gain foothold in the music industry," she adds.
Voice Never Gets Old
The show for kids having come on track, now Ghosh wants to hold such a show for older people, those between 40 and 70 years of age. "Everyone is doing shows with teenagers. But there are many older women and men, who are interested in singing, have good voice, but have never got a chance to showcase their talent. I want to give them that chance," she says.
Other than music, Ghosh loves playing golf. "This I have started recently but have really got hooked on to it. I play almost everyday," she says.
She loves holding page 3 parties and fashion shows, but that's not all that is to her. She is also works as an insurance agent with a private company. "Both my sons are grown up, and living abroad. I have plenty of time, which I want to utilize to the fullest," she remarks.
Purnima Haldar, Sector 31
My teacher at school told me about the programme. I got first prize in duet category last year. Such programmes are a good learning ground for people like me who cannot afford music teachers.
Seema Nag, Sector 36
Singing is my passion, though I don't want to take it up as a career. I had a lot of fun last year, and will take part this year too.
Rajesh Kushwaha, Sector 44
I want to be singer. I have been learning from a guruji. The teaching classes held by ma'am were very helpful. I got a certificate, which boosted my morale.