Veteran television producer and actor Manju Singh died on Thursday. While there has been no official confirmation, it is being reported that she died due to cardiac arrest.
Lyricist, singer, and screenwriter Swanand Kirkire took to Twitter and shared the news of Singh’s demise. He wrote in Hindi, “Manju Singh is no more! Manju ji brought me from Delhi to Mumbai to write her show Swaraj for Doordarshan! She made many wonderful shows Ek Kahani, Show Theme, etc, for DD. Ratna of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Gol Maal, our dear Manju ji how can we forget your love… Goodbye!”
Her family confirmed the news in a statement: “With profound grief, we inform you about the demise of our Manju Singh. She lived a beautiful and inspiring life, devoted to her family and her craft. From ‘Manju Didi‘ to ‘Manju Nani‘ she will be truly missed by all.”
Known as a pioneer of television, Singh started her career with the first sponsored program on the small screen, Show Theme. Later, she went on to produce several well-known shows like Ek Kahani, Swaraj, and Adhikaar, among others. Her show Ek Kahani was based on literary short stories from several regional languages. Adhikar, which became very popular around the country and got a lot of viewership, was based on women’s legal rights.
Fondly called ‘didi’, she was also the anchor of the children’s show, Khel Khilone which ran for seven years.
Apart from television, she also starred in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Gol Maal, in which she essayed the role of Ratna. She was also part of a few other films such as Hanky Panky (1979), Ladies Tailor (1981), and Screen Two (1985).
In 2015, she received recognition for her contribution to the creative arts and the education field and was nominated as a member to the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) by the Government of India. She was also a regular participant of the International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults and was frequently invited by educational forums across the country to conduct workshops for principals, teachers, and students.