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Photos: Singer Smitha Kick-Starts Aalayam Navaratri Handloom Festival

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Pop singer Smitha kick-started Aalayam Navaratri Handloom festival at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad today (September 25). In association with renowned Designer Shravan Kumar, the Indi-pop singer set up an exclusive handloom store Aalayam at Road No.67 a year ago. Aalayam, which works towards upliftment of weaver community, showcases exclusive handloom sarees from across India at the festival.

Smitha, who has been very passionate of handlooms, spent a lot of time around weavers and looms as she was growing up. Later, she met Shravan Kumar, who always promoted handlooms through his designs and shows nationally and internationally. They both started the store an year ago with the intention of supporting Indian weavers.

Smitha and Shravan Kumar are working towards reviving many weaves which are slowly becoming extinct. An Aalayam Society was started to work towards upliftment of weaver community. One of the recent initiatives undertaken by the society was distribution of Charkas to Khadi weavers.

During the nine days of Navaratri, Aalayam organises a festival as celebration of feminine divine and Indian weaves. Along with Devi Alankarana Puja, an exhibition and sale of a special weave of sarees is held each day at the store. Smitha has invited everyone to support and celebrate the rich heritage of Indian weaves.

The store is exhibiting Khadi and Venkatagiri on Sept 25, Gadwal and Narayanpet on Sept 26, Mangalagiri and Ikkat on Sept 27, Banaras and Paithani on Sept 28, Uppada on Sept 29, Kota and Chanderi on Sept 30, Kanchi on Oct 1 and Aari and Kuch work on Oct 2. Continue to slide to see the snaps of Smitha's photo shoot.

Smitha Inclination For Singing

Smitha was born 4 September 1980 in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. She was four-year old when she performed for the first time at her school annual day function at Vijayawada. As she grew, she started going for many competitions and always returned home with some prize.

Smitha On Padutha Theeyaga

When she was in intermediate in Maris Stella college at Vijayawada, she participated in ETV's reality show Padutha Theeyaga and made her own mark. She won the quarter finals, semis and mini finals. She somehow lost in mega semis.

Playback Singing Offers For Smitha

Though she was disappointed about getting eliminated from Padutha Theeyaga, her passion and determination were intact. She started trying for some playback opportunities and she did get to sing a few playback songs. This is when her parents advised her that it was more apt to choose pop singing as a career as she had a style which is more suited for making of a pop artist.

Smitha's Debut As Pop Artist

Her career as a pop artist started in the year 2000 with the launch of her first album 'Hai Rabba'. This album was followed by several blockbuster albums in Telugu and Tamil. Some of her albums in Telugu has crossed sales of over one million copies with special mention to albums like 'Masaka Masaka'.

Filmfare Award For Smitha

Over the last seven years Smita has sung over 75 playback songs in Telugu and has worked with leading music composers from the south. The song "Evaraina chusuntara" from the film Anukokunda oka roju composed by MM Keeravani won her a Filmfare award as Best Playback Singer in Telugu films for the year 2005.

Smitha Sings In 6 Languages

There was no looking back after that. Her songs have been featured in numerous Tollywood, Bollywood, Tamil and Kannada movies. She has over million albums sold, 200 concerts in eight countries, 75 playback songs and proved her ability to sing in six languages.

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