Hyderabad, Jan 26  ‘Bheemla Nayak’ title track singer and folk artiste from Telangana, Darshanam Mogulaiah, is to receive the Padma Shri for his outstanding contribution to the arts.

Mogulaiah, who was drafted by the popular Telugu star and Jana Sena Party founder Pawan Kalyan, has preserved the art of playing the 12-stair kinnera, an indigenous stringed instrument that is not used in the music industry. The instrument is associated predominantly with Dalit and tribal communities,such as the Dakkalis, the Madigas and the Chenchus.

As this art form is on the verge of dying, folk singers such as Mogulaiah are the only hope to keep it alive.

Mogulaiah is from a Madiga family. He grew up in the Ausalikunta village of the Lingala mandal in Telangana’s Nagarkurnool district, along the stretches of the Nallamala forests. A fifth-generation kinnera artiste, Mogulaiah, 62, has been playing the instrument since the age of eight,

Pawan Kalyan, who identified this unique art form, had recommended Mogulaiah to music director S.S. Thaman for the title track of the upcoming big-ticket movie ‘Bheemla Nayak’.

Thaman composed the track with Mogulaiah, who has been receiving donations from Tollywood bigwigs to realise his dream of preserving and promoting his beloved instrument.

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