Fans remember Rafi on his 28th death anniversary

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Mumbai, July 31 (IANS) Nearly a thousand people from various parts of the country gathered here Thursday to observe the 28th death anniversary of one of the greatest Bollywood playback singers, Mohammed Rafi.

People from Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Muzaffarpur and various other places assembled at the grave of the singer around Juhu Mosque here.

"Since morning there has been a huge crowd to pay tribute to Rafi Sahab, who is alive through his singing among all of us," said Binu Nair, founder-chairman of the Rafi Foundation.

"All these people gather here every year to pay tribute to the great soul as most of them are singers, musicians or other related professionals who earn their livelihood from his songs," Nair told IANS.

Besides his fans, various prominent personalities from television and film industry, including playback singer Shabbir Kumar and Naushad's son Raju Naushad, visited the grave.

Nair said that various shows have been organised in different parts of city where singers will render Rafi's innumerable hit numbers.

The whole event is spread over four days till Saturday, Nair added.

Nair said that the organization representatives met Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Sunday to hand over an application for considering the name of Rafi for the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian award.

Meanwhile, Sonu Nigam, who started his career by singing Rafi's songs and is considered to be closest to the singing style of the legendary singer, said though he never got a chance to see or meet Rafi but his life and music has influenced him in the most profound way.

Sonu, who celebrated his birthday Wednesday, said: "What an irony of life that just after everyone celebrates my birthday, the next day we mourn Rafi Saheb's death.

"This year my album 'Rafi Resurrected', which has released in Europe and will shortly be released in India is gonna to be my tribute to this wonderful, ever smiling, versatile, humble, spiritual and simple hearted teacher of mine," Rafi said in an SMS to IANS.

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