Indian Link Radio’s Desh Ke Liye Gao Contest winners announced

The Indian Link Radio contest played for seven days in the week of Independence Day.

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Canberra’s Savitha Narayan has won Indian Link Radio’s Desh Ke Liye Gao contest this year.

A popular annual event in the Indian Link Radio community, this contest seeks listeners‘ contributions in the patriotic song genre. Participants call in during a live show and sing a deshbhakti ka geet on air, or send in a recording of their song.

Savitha’s heart-rending version of that old favourite Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon won over the judges this time round.

This Lata Mangeshkar number, dedicated to soldiers serving at the nation‘s borders, tugs at the heart strings if performed well, and is even known to elicit a tear or two. The classically trained Savitha came close to this benchmark.

Savita Narayan (Source: Supplied)

“I entered the contest on a whim after seeing it on Facebook,” Savitha told Indian Link.  “I’m so pleased to have won.”

Savitha has been singing since the age of ten, trained in the Carnatic tradition. “My dad, himself a Carnatic vocalist, encouraged my sister and I into this practice. We learned under Shubha Harinath and then under Uma Iyer.”

The strong foundations have seen this talented singer take on less classical styles of music with ease. “I enjoy singing Hindi songs but also Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam numbers.”

Savitha won $100 in prize money.

Second prize was claimed by a similar tear jerker.

Regular listener and a popular contributor to radio discussions, OP Malik won with his Mat Ro Mata Lal Tere. He presented the song after a brief explanation in backdrop – from the life of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, which set the Independence Day mood perfectly.

Malik Saheb was one of the few who participants who called in and sang live on air.


In contrast, a song from contemporary times took third prize. Sung by the talented 11-year-old Myhra Ghantwal, Lehra Do from the cricket film 83 wowed with its basic message to keep the Indian flag flying high.


Myhra is one to watch – she won the Sydney Eisteddfod for contemporary singing in her age category. She also sang the Australian and India national anthems at India Day events across the community.

The Indian Link Radio contest played for seven days in the week of Independence Day. Winners were announced on the popular live show hosted by Station Head and much-loved presenter Sagar Mehrotra’s weekend show Sunday Swag.

Myrah Ghantwal (Source: Supplied)

“It was quite pleasing to see how it all turned out,” Sagar said later. “As I said repeatedly, it was participation that was important rather than the contest aspect of this whole exercise.”

True to his word, he acknowledged on air each and every contestant that volunteered, with special shout-outs to the children that sang, and those that composed their own song.

“I’m indebted also to our followers who may not have participated by singing, but who cheered on the others. Many of them expressed thanks for having provided such a platform to showcase a touch of patriotism or nostalgia in the lead up to Independence Day – ‘you gave us a chance to showcase our love for our motherland,’ they said.”

He added, “There were those who wanted to participate but claimed they were hesitant to sing live on air. I’m so glad that with a bit of coaxing, they gave it a go! Thank you all for being such good spirits.”

One participant called in from India, much to Sagar’s delight.

Keep a look out for other similar contests on Indian Link Radio. There’s a slightly different one at the moment – in the lead up to Rakshabandhan. Find out here how to participate.

Read More: Desh ke liye gao: Indian Link Radio’s Independence Day contest

Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

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