He stirred million of hearts with his soulful ghazals. But singer Jagjit Singh was also known for his philanthropy.
Singh held several charity concerts, where he didn't charge any professional fees and would donate the revenue collected by the sales of the ticket to NGOs.
On October 9, the singer was to have his fifth charity concert for NGO Alert India, an association for leprosy education, rehabilitation and treatment. Director of the organisation Veera Rao recalls discussing the scheduled concert with Singh on September 22.
"He was upbeat about his performance and asked me to make sure that all tickets were sold so we could accumulate maximum funds," Rao said. But the singer was hospitalised the next day.
In 1996, when CRY (Child Rights and You), an NGO for children, approached Singh for a charity concert, he created a music album titled Cry for CRY. The revenue collected from sales of every collection of seven cassettes was passed on to the NGO. "Till date we get the royalty for every cassette that is sold," said Puja Marwaha, CEO of CRY. "When I asked him why he decided on this name for the album, he explained that cry was a plea to reach out to the lord. That is when I really understood the true meaning of the word."
Singh also performed four charity concerts for the organisation between 1999 and 2004.
After the success of the album, Abhijit Paul of an Ahmedabad-based NGO Sense International that works for visually and hearing-impaired children also approached Singh to do a charity concert. "He learnt how we taught these kids and took care of them. He agreed to come to Ahmedabad and do a concert for us, which was attended by 5,500 people. We collected R4 lakh from the sales of the tickets," he said.
Singer was in critical condition
Ghazal singer, Jagjit Singh, 70, passed away at Lilavati Hospital on Monday morning. Doctors at the hospital said that he died of a cardiac arrest.
Singh was admitted to the Bandra hospital on September 23 after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was to perform with singer On Monday, Singh was declared dead by the hospital at 8.10 am.
"We removed the clots from the brain, but the damage to the brain was irreparable. He had cardio-respiratory failure today," said Dr Nitin Dange, consulting neurosurgeon at the hospital.
"Singh's condition had improved marginally a few days ago. "He was taken off the ventilator, but was still critical," said Dange.
Singh suffered from diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart disease.
Dr Keki Turel, a neurosurgeon and a friend of Singh, said, "The hemorrhage may have caused the compression of his brain stem." Musicians and film personalities including santoor player Shiv Kumar Sharma, singer Roop Kumar Rathod, Subhash Ghai visited the family in the hospital on Monday. - HTC