Vijayawada: Meet Satwika, winner of the Bal Ratna 2011 award for her talent in vocal in classical music.

Music is in her genes. Thirteen-year-old V. Satwika, of Std. VIII in Atkinson Higher Secondary School, Vijayawada, is the proud winner of Bal Ratna 2011 award, bestowed on her by Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Hyderabad, in recognition of her extraordinary vocal talent in classical music.

Among the scores of school children who participated in the preliminary round from seven zones across Andhra Pradesh, Satwika found her name among the shortlisted students.

With the violin

Satwika grew up listening to her mother, Vishnubhatla Krishnaveni, playing the violin. She started learning vocal music and to play the violin when she was in kindergarten and gave her first stage performance at the age of six. “It was a State-level handloom exhibition where I performed for the first time,” she recalls. Her mother is also a vocalist and so it was not difficult for Satwika to learn the nitty-gritty of it.

The young girl is a recipient of the scholarship of CCRT (Centre for Cultural and Resources Training), Ministry of Culture, Government of India, selected in the ‘vocal' category.

She won her first prize when she was eight, in sub-junior category for her impressive performance in violin and in vocals. Despite the heavy load of home work, she manages to allocate one hour for practice every day. “On Sundays, I practice for three hours at a stretch,” she says.

For the last four years, Satwika has been a regular performer in different programmes. “Music releases all kinds of tension and improves concentration power,” she says.

The girl nurtures a dream to crack the IITJEE and become a professor. “But I want to continue singing regardless of the area of my profession. Classical music has not got its due share of recognition. People must realise its significance and extend patronage to provide it the much-needed fillip,” she says.