Speaking about her financial aid, she says, “I have a couple of relatives who help me as an when the need arises. I don’t even get proper royalty for my songs. I am totally dependent on others and they come to my rescue and not the government, which does not pay attention to artistes like us who are living all alone and have no income and support.”
The singer had appealed to the state government requesting a house way back in 1989, but her file has not reached a government official in 32 years. She said, “In these decades I have travelled all round the state to raise funds for drought hit villages and other social endeavours and each time I have come back to Mumbai and tried meeting the minister about my file, the only answer I got was, ‘He is on a tour’ or ‘not available’. The government should understand the plight of many singers like me whom they need to look at and give them the respect that they need.”
Pushpa Pagdhare has sung songs written by Raj Thackeray’s father Srikant Thackeray and has many more songs to her credit but she hasn’t been paid royalty for these songs in a really long time. She said, “I sang the song ‘Aga pori sambhal daryala toofan aalay’ with Mohammed Rafi, which was hugely popular. I was paid royalty for it till the time the HMV music label was active. The payments stopped after the label ran out of business. The honorarium I get from the cultural department of the state of Rs 3150 is also not paid on time. Atleast the royalties need to come so that I can take care of myself.”
The veteran singer likes to watch singing reality shows on TV. She also reveals that she hasn’t really been in touch with the music community. She says, “Today’s singers are paid very well, but in our times we took whatever was paid to us by the producers.”
When asked about how much was she paid for ‘Itni shakti hame dena daata’, Pagdhare replies, “The music composer, Kuldeep Singh, was new and got a break with the film, ‘Ankush’. I got paid Rs 250 for it and I’ve been told that the same song is now the ringtone on most ministers’ and politicians’ phones. But not one of them pays heed to the needs of the singer who sang that song.”
Pushpa Pagdhare does not want to make a fresh appeal about her pending application with the government. She signs off by saying that she still needs financial help and a decent house to live in.