"Dream, Dream, Dream! Conduct these dreams into thoughts and then transform them into action."
- Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Woman artist known for Powada singing

15-03-2017 04:00 PM  
Sukhada Khandge | My Indian Dream      118

Woman artist known for Powada singing | My Indian Dream

Image Source

Powada is always considered as male dominant art form. Here Kalpana Devanand Mali has carved her niche as very few female Powada artistes in Maharashtra.

Narrating the stories of warriors in a heroic action is what Powada is all about, and when it is sung by a woman ballad singer then surely charm is different.These Powada are important part of celebrations including ' ShivJayanti.'

Kalpana Devanand Mali, from Sangli is one of the few female ballads singers in Maharashtra who has carved her niche in the field of Maharashtra’s folk art.

Powada, better known as Ballad singing includes singing, narrating, acting and playing Daf (percussion instrument). And all this Kalpana has been with a great zeal.

For Kalpana, who came from a non-musical background, marrying Devanand Mali, well known Shahir from Maharashtra changed her life.

After marriage, as Kalpana started supporting and accompanying him for his various Shahiri programs, she also generated interest in this vigorous folk art form of Maharashtra.

She said, “As I used to accompany my husband for various programs, I saw that there are various females who are working in the field of folk arts. This motivated me and I started giving chorus to my husband on stage.”

Giving chorus regularly, Kalpana could gain the confidence required to face the audience. She said, “As I overcame the stage-fear, I started learning singing, playing Daf and how to act while narrating from my husband. Even I started reading different Powadas and started practicing them.”

Initially, Kalpana performed Powada with the help of her husband around 8 years ago.Since then, she has fell in love with this folk form and have also made other women love her art.

Devanand Mali who learnt this folk art under the tutelage of renowned Shahir from Maharashtra Shahir Bapurao Vibhute, was more than happy to pass on his art to his wife and son. He felt that if he gets the support from him family, then surely it will help him to make this folk art reach more and more audiences.

Kalpana Mali has performed Powada not only in different parts of Maharashtra but also in Udaipur, Jaipur, Chandrapur and other parts of India. She has also received Shahir Chandrika Award for her dedicated work in the field of Powada.

Among her famous Powadas which she sings, Rani of Jhansi Powada is much appreciated and applauded.

Apart from this, using folk as a medium, she is also using folk media to make people socially aware about various topics.

Every year, her troupe undertakes the responsibility of preaching the message of cleanliness drive in the yearly Wari from Alandi to Pandharpur.

Apart from this, her troupe also spread the message of HIV-Aids, Clean environment and save girl child among others.

Explaining about the same, she said, “I feel responsible as a Powada artiste to spread the social message to my audiences. Folk media is still one of the important mediums in rural life therefore audiences listen to the Powada artistes. The response I get from the ladies is what motivates me to include various social messages in my performances.”

For this 12th pass women, who otherwise would have been unnoticed in the world of higher education believes that this art has given her the identity. She said, “Powada has given me an identity and an altogether different field to explore. It has also given me financial independence which was otherwise not possible for me with bare minimum education.”

“We, as a family are also taking this art form ahead by teaching our son the same and my son Prithviraj Mali is also one of the child powada artistes who is doing his bit in this field.”

Devanand Mali and Kalpana Mali were also one of the final contestants on Marathi Paul Padate Pudhe, a star hunt show on a Marathi channel.


A Journalist, dancer and a teacher. Even if I carry a tag of journalist, I like to write positive things around myself and bring a smile on my reader's face.

Recent Articles
More Article From Star Citizens