Manju Singh, a veteran actress, entertainment figure and one of the pioneers of television programming, died suddenly on Saturday after a brief illness, her family announced.
Her relatives confirmed that she died on Thursday in Mumbai.
“We regret to announce the passing of our dear Manju Singh, who was a beloved member of our family. The woman who lived a wonderful and inspiring life dedicated to her family and her craft, passed away recently. From ‘Manju Didi’ to ‘Manju Nani’, she will sadly be lost to all who knew and loved her.” The family sent a brief statement to the media, providing no further information.
As one of the industry pioneers, Singh has been involved in television since her early days in the early 1980s, when she started with “Show Theme,” which was the first small-screen sponsored show.
His next work for Doordarshan included the production of television specials on themes ranging from soap operas to children’s shows to spiritual activism and other relevant issues, all of which aired in the early days of color television.
Some of them were “Ek Kahani”, “Swaraj” and “Adhikaar”, and they also anchored the children’s program “Khel Khilone”, one of the longest running shows at the time of its debut.
Apart from Hindi serials, Singh has appeared in a few Hindi movies including as Ratna Sharma, the sister of main character Ramprasad D. Sharma (Amol Palekar) in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s award-winning comedy “Golmaal” and “Hanky Panky”. (both from 1979), “Ladies Tailor” (1981) and “Screen Two” (1985), in seamless transition.
Later, in 2007, she established the WorldKids Foundation, which operates under the name “Entertainment With a Purpose”. The foundation organizes children’s film festivals around the world and distributes educational films to schools around the world.
Following his appointment as a member of the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE) in 2015, the government recognized Singh’s contributions to television, film, creative arts and academia.
Several stalwarts of India’s television and film industries, including lyricist-singer-writer Swanand Kirkire, who was an early collaborator of Manju Singh, have expressed their condolences on the actress’ passing.