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Ritika Sahni

Has an exciting dual career, that of a playback & pop singer and a social activist.

She not only sings as a professional, but also converges her talents towards the Cause of
Disability.

A Gold Medalist, with Masters in Music from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata,
Ritika has also acquired a First Class B.ED degree in Deaf Education from the Ali
Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, and has been actively
involved in creating awareness on issues related to disability for the past 15 years.

A versatile singer performer, she has her own team of musicians and dancers. Having a
flair for dialects, she sings in many languages like Hindi, Bengali, Gujrati, Punjabi,
Bhojpuri, Tamil and English. As a trained singer she also enjoys singing Ghazals,
Bhajans, rhythmic Folk and light classical songs.

Besides various private and public shows she regularly performs for corporate houses,
some of which have been Times of India, Ford, Mahindra and Mahindra, Microsoft,
Seagram’s, Salora, Hero Honda, ICICI, ICI paints, LML, Dell, Max New York Life,
Samsung, LG, Hutch, Indian Medical Association, also for different Indian Associations
abroad.

Having an extensive knowledge in the area of music and contemporary recording


technology, Ritika has produced five music albums of original nursery rhymes for
children, two of which are “HAPPY DAY” and “TIM TIM TARA”.

“JHIKMIK TARA” (a collection of 15 new Bengali nursery rhymes for children of ages
2 to 6) has been released in Bengali through Tara Music.

Interestingly she has also transcribed the lyric book of “Happy Day” and “Jhikmik
Tara” into Braille for children with visual impairments, which are regularly
distributed in schools teaching children with visual impairments.

As on date, she is a very popular anchorperson on the TARANA show on ETV Bangla
and MUSIKAL, EI TOW NOI SHUDHU GAAN on TARA MUSIC.

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Some of her noteworthy Film Songs

1. “Tumsay mili Nazar”…. A duet with Sonu Nigam for the film MAIN MADHURI
DIXIT BANNA CHAHTI HUN for Ram Gopal Varma Productions.

2. “Oh What A Babe” solo song for the film RAKHT. Directed by MAHESH
MANJREKAR.

3. “Kadi Heer Bana” Solo song for the film “I”PROUD TO BE INDIAN directed
by PUNEET SIRA.

4. A duet with Sapna Awasthi in Sagar Sarhadi film CHAUSAR.

5. “Panchi Ray” solo song for SHYAM BENEGAL’s film HARI BHARI.

Her Albums & Singles

1. “RITIKA” an album of original songs in Hindi released by Sony Music. Music


by Vanraj Bhatia, Lyrics by Mehboob. Video of the song “Husn” was made
featuring her and Nafisa Joseph.

2. “PARDESI DHOLA” an album of original songs. Music by Lalit Sen, (of the
Jatin-Lalit duo) lyrics by Shyam Anuragi and Nawab Arzoo through Lucky star.
Video of Pardesi Dhola.

3. “VALE’S NIRVANA LOUNGE”. Video of the song IN ANKHON KI MASTI


was made.

4. “CHENA SHUKHER KHONJE” (In search of known happiness) Solo Bengali


Album. Music by Debojyoti Misra (of Chokher Bali, Hazaar Churasi ki Maa,
and Raincoat fame) by HMV.

5. “TOMAKE EKTU…” (Just For you…) contemporary love songs in Bengali.


Solo album on HMV.

6. “GHOOM NEI” (Sleepless) songs attributing the love triangle of Guru Dutt,
Waheeda Rehman and Geeta Dutt successfully picturised through a Bengali
serial by Plus Music.

7. “NACH DE PUNJABI” album of Punjabi songs through VALES MUSIC

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8. “JALWA IV” released on Times Music. Sung three songs including “Yeh Raat
Mein Jo Maza Hai” Video.

Being an active social worker as well as a disability activist, she is on the board
of trustees of an active NGO named “SAHAY” and is associated with similar
organizations and people working in this field within the country and abroad.

She is now secretary of her own welfare trust called TRINAYANI. She holds regular
workshops for teachers, parents and students, on disability related issues using the
medium of films, music and interactive discussion.

She has worked in the capacity of a Special Educator in:


Manovikas Kendra Kolkata, working with children with autism.
The Oral School for the Deaf, Kolkata, teaching music to the primary children and economics
to students appearing for their ICSE exams,
The Spastics Society of Eastern India, Kolkata with students who had cerebral palsy and
hearing impairment, training them on augmentative and alternative methods of
communication.

Ritika is also a Consulting Communication Therapist in the Unicef project (2001-2003)


undertaken by The Spastics Society Of India Mumbai and a faculty member of their
university affiliated Teacher Training Course on Special Education, which is also
recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India. She lectures on the course entitled
“Community Initiatives in Inclusive Education” held for national and international
students.

The audio/book album for children HAPPY DAY (a collection of 15 new nursery rhymes for
children of ages 2 to 6) and JHIKMIK TARA (Bengali nursery rhymes) performed and
produced by her is regularly distributed along with its Braille version of the text in
schools teaching blind children.

She regularly holds talks on disability equality for Municipal Corporation School children,
teachers, and administrative officers in Mumbai.

Ritika has had the opportunity of discussing the issue of disability with cross sections of
society. She says that “it seems that out of sheer ignorance and fear of making mistakes,
or out of apprehension of hurting people with disabilities, we tend to stay away and
avoid interacting with them. This lack of awareness about disability related issues
creates a ‘communication block’ that leads to the exclusion of disabled people from the
mainstream of life”.

Expanding further on the subject, she said, “The real problem is attitudinal barriers. There
have always been people with disabilities in our world and there will always be. To
inculcate the habit of understanding differences it is important that people at large are
sensitized and made aware about disability. This may lead to attitudinal and behavioral
changes in society with regard to disability and other related issues”.

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She has designed a module entitled “A BETER WORLD FOR A BETTER ME” and
conducted workshops for teachers and students of regular sensitizing them on issues related
to disability .

She maintains that it is in school that one gets to learn about the world and develop attitudes
towards people. Keeping this in mind the module has been designed to provide students and
teachers with an opportunity to learn about the differences in people around them and the
importance of caring for those who have .different needs. The participants will learn to create
an understanding and tolerant environment that ensures self respect and dignity for everyone.

This module also attempts to demystify issues relating to disability and its content is designed
on the basic premise of the fundamental right to education and the policy of ‘education for
all’ (Sarva Shiksha Abhyaan).

She is presently working on a series of books which tries to take a small step towards erasing
the lines between “us” and “them” through stories, character sketches of ordinary people with
disabilities, and information handbooks that sensitize people to disability issues.

“TALK TO ME” Disability Awareness Pocket Calendar is one such venture that materialized
due to support of Reliance industries and has been distributed all over the country.

She is very keen and is presently involved in putting together a talk show on issues
pertaining to disability on Fm Radio (Mumbai) People with disabilities are the largest
unrepresented minority in our country today, especially in the media. The Purpose of this
show would to break the “Attitudinal Barriers” present among the public at large and be a
voice in the media for people with disabilities as we promote awareness, educate and inspire.

Trinayani hosted ‘Look At Me” A Disability Awareness Film Festival in Kolkata from
the 13th to the 22nd Of November 2006 in ten educational institutions and is continuing to
use the medium of films and Interactive Discussions to raise the awareness level within
the academic community.