Visually Impaired But Lord Jagannath Paves This Poor Bhakta Salbeg’s Tryst With Destiny

Cuttack: He is Muslim by birth but gets immersed in the devotional song dedicated to Lord Jagannath despite being visually impaired since birth.

Toiling hard to eke out a living, but his long-cherished desire for a pucca house of his own, a tube-well at home and the monthly allowance granted for artistes by the State Government still elude him despite having knocked the doors of the authorities umpteen times.

During his rendezvous with OMMCOM NEWS, humble Sam Chacha appealed, “If this programme of mine is being heard by our dear Chief Minister, my earnest request to him to sanction me a pucca house from the Biju Awas Yojana and a tube-well at my home for my drinking water needs.”

He reiterated, “I’m eagerly waiting for a house under the Government’s housing scheme. Need a tube-well here as I have to venture out for fetching drinking water. I have been approaching the concerned authorities umpteen times, but all fell on deaf ears. I’m even deprived of our Government’s allowance meant for the artistes. Fending for myself amidst penury.”

He further added, “Those artistes like me who haven’t come to the notice of the Government, I would like to appeal them all to work in such a manner so that the Government will take note. Simultaneously, I would like to urge the Government to render magnanimous response to all the neglected artistes like me.”

Sam Chacha’s mesmerizing devotional songs dedicated to Lord Jagannath have these days gone viral on social media and he has earned an amiable tag of fondly being called the Second Salbeg of Odisha.

His rendition of Lord Jagannath’s devotional songs is reminiscent of the past glorious morning hours of All India Radio (AIR) Cuttack broadcasting late Sikander Alam’s “Jagannath Janana” (Hymns).

Meet 55-year-old Abdul Sammad Nizami, popular as Sam Chacha, of a nondescript village, Praharajpur, under Kishan Nagar in Cuttack district.

Going into retrospection, Sam Chacha tells, “I began my musical tryst at Cuttack Kala Vikash Kendra (KVK) in 1974. My teacher Pradipta Kumar Acharya had admitted me there while my mentor was Bhajan Samrat Bhikari Charan Bal. After being trained under Bal Sir’s tutelage, I had to be back home at my native village in 1977 due to financial crunch.”

He added, “Here at my nativity, I got associated with Pradipta Sir and took active participation in drama, gitinatya (drama in form of songs), qawwali programme, etc. Later on, I got an opportunity to serve as a music teacher at Kalarbanka High School managed by Dr Samant.”

Informing about his disability, Sam Chacha rued, “When I had been three months old, I got afflicted with vision complicacies. My parents consulted several doctors and they confirmed the complete loss of my physical vision. It’s all Allah’s wish and blessings and I desired to be a music artiste and earn my livelihood. Thus, my journey of life is inching ahead despite poverty.”

Abdul Sammad Nizami(Sam Chacha)