Lyricist Neeraj regales manual scavengers with his poetry
Veteran Bollywood poet and lyricist Gopaldas Neeraj, popularly known as Neeraj to his numerous fans, had an interesting interaction on Thursday with a dozen women who were earlier branded as “untouchables”.
Hailing from Rajasthan's Tonk and Alvar districts, the women had the fortune of sharing the dais with the senior film personality at a function here to commemorate liberation of former “untouchables” who were engaged in the manual cleaning of toilets.
Instead of getting intimidated by the veteran lyricist, the women mustered the courage to recite their self-composed poetry.
Impressed with their poems, articulation and confidence, an emotional Neeraj recited some famous songs from old Hindi classics.
The song “E bhai zara dekh ke chalo….” from the film Mera Naam Joker was recited by Neeraj.
He sang another all-time popular number “Likhe jo khaat tujhe…” from Kanyadaan. In turn, the women sang some of his songs from the films Tere Mere Sapne and Sharmili.
Speaking on the occasion, Neeraj said: “It is indeed a rebirth for these women as they are able to live two different lives in one birth. Earlier, they were illiterate and now they are writing their own poems. Songs should be written to thrill the soul. They are a reflection of the practice prevailing within society.”
He composed a song specially for these women about their transformation.
Sulabh sanitation movement founder Bindeshwar Pathak said the women were now free from the stigma of untouchability and social discrimination. “They have joined the mainstream of society,” he added.