New Delhi: Expressing her concern over the declining number of folk tunes, renowned singer Malini Awasthi has said that like film classics, folk music should also be preserved.
"I am trying to find out original folk tunes for last 20 years. I have got some in Patna, Varanasi, Lucknow and Allahabad but we need more effort in this regard. Our folk literature is very rich. It should be preserved properly," said Awasthi.
"In last few years we have seen that our folk tunes are dying in the absence of proper archiving. Government is taking steps to preserve our old cinematic treasures. Same efforts are needed for our folk heritage," said the singer.
A post graduate in Hindustani classical music, Awasthi is the disciple of 'thumri queen' Girija Devi of Benaras Gharana.
She sings various forms of folk music from Benaras and Awadh like Dadra, Sohar, Banna, Jhoola, Kajri, Hori, Chaiti, Vivah, Dhobiya and some of them are almost dying forms.
Awasthi also feels folk music is yet to get its due.
"I feel that in India there is huge discrimination between folk and classical music. Classical music has been patronized by kings while folk artistes have always been neglected. There is no change even today as folk artistes are not financially sound and secure," she said.
The singer is trying to introduce folk to IIT and IIMs through her campaign 'Sonchirraiya'.
"We need to do what Spic Mcay has done for our classical music. Folk artistes need platform otherwise these forms will die. Musical reality shows can be a medium to find new talents in folk music too," said the veteran singer.
She is also against the idea of using folk tunes with vulgar lyrics as item numbers in Bollywood.
"Folk music has been a part of our movies. Songs like 'Chalat musafir moh liya', 'Nain lad jaihe' or 'Patna se baida bulaida' are classic folk songs but today filmmakers lift folk tunes and use them with vulgar lyrics which is disrespectful," she said.