She is no less than a beauty queen. You must have heard her sweet voice crooning the popular song from MS Dhoni movie. Palak Muchhal is a beauty with matching voice. But do we know that Palak became a member of Kalyanji-Anandji Little Star, a group of young singers, when she was just 4 years old. Behind this beautiful persona is a heart which is even more vivacious and giving.
Palak During the Kargil War of 1999, at the age of 7, spent a week singing at shops in her hometown, Indore, to raise funds for the families of deceased Indian soldiers. Her efforts received substantial coverage in Indian media and she raised ₹25,000 (US$810). Later that year, she sang to raise funds for victims of the 1999 Odisha cyclone.
Palak, at a very young age, was totally moved by children cleaning train compartments with their clothes and she decided to use her voice to help others.
Around the same time, teachers of an Indore-based school, approached Palak and her parents with a request for a charity show to raise funds for one of their student, coming from a modest family, who was suffering from a congenital heart defect. Palak and her parents, agreed to arrange a show for which she used a street vendor’s cart as a stage for the event and collected ₹51,000 (US$1,600) towards the cost of surgery. The attendant publicity prompted Bangalore-based cardiologist, Devi Prasad Shetty, to operate on the child free of charge. Muchhal’s parents published advertisements in local newspapers to promote donations toward heart surgery for children like Lokesh. The outcome of this was a list of 33 children in need of heart surgery.
A series of charity shows were arranged later in that year, from which ₹225,000 were raised. This money was used to provide heart surgery for five children in Bangalore and Bhandari Hospital Indore.
Since 2000, Muchhal has travelled extensively in India and abroad for her charity show, which is billed in Hindi as “Dil Se Dil Tak” (“From heart to heart”) and in English as “Save Little Hearts”. Her younger brother, Palash, performs in the same shows with the intent of raising funds for children who have kidney ailments. On an average, Muchhal sings around 40 songs in each show which includes popular Bollywood songs, Ghazals and Bhajans. Muchhal sings in 17 different indian languages.
In 2001 Muchhal, raised around one million rupees for the victims of 2001 Gujarat earthquake. In July 2003, Muchhal offered financial assistance through her charity funds to parents of a two-year-old Pakistani girl who had a hole in the heart.Muchhal’s charity organisation is named as “Palak Muchhal Heart Foundation”. As of March 2006 this foundation had financially assisted 200 children in undergoing heart surgery. By the end of the year 2006 Muchhal had raised ₹1.2 crore (US$150,000) for this foundation which were used to save lives of 234 children. To ensure that operations of children do not stop due to lack of money, Bhandari Hospital in Indore has allowed an overdraft of up to one million rupees to Palak Muchhal Heart Foundation. In 2006 Muchhal was one of the five heroic stories broadcast by Star Gold channel as part of its “Rang De Basanti Salaam” (Salute to Color of Sacrifice) initiative. By June 2009 Muchhal had staged 1,460 charity shows across the world which had raised ₹1.71 crore (US$210,000) for Palak Muchhal Heart Foundation. These funds helped to save the lives of 338 children.
Doctors allow Palak to be present in the operating theatre. She has her own surgical gown in the hospital and when the operation takes place she chants Jain Navkar Mantra. Interestingly, Palak or her parents do not receive any financial benefits from the charity shows but she receives a doll for every child whose life she helps make better through her efforts.
Palak had already established herself as a lovable payback singet in Bollywood but her efforts to help child heart patients continued. In August 2015, funds raised by her has helped to save the lives of 800 children. As of now, she along with her brother has saved 2,200 lives of children.