Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023 07:45 [IST]

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Sikkimese Little Champ, Jetshen win a ‘Symbol of Gorkha Unity’


22nd January, 2023 may be regarded as a historical day for Sikkimese people because the SaReGaMaP L'il Champ; Jetshen Dohna Lama of Pakyong did Sikkim proud at the National level by winning the highly decorated Zee TV singing reality show SaReGaMaPa Li'l Champ. She is the first from Sikkim to win any National level reality show competition and the Govt. of Sikkim under the farsighted leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Prem Singh Tamang immediately directed holding a grand reception program at Rangpo. The Govt. of Sikkim organized a mass felicitation cum reception program for Jetshen’s victory as ‘a Pride of Sikkim’. The way Jetshen Dohna Lama was received and her feat celebrated right from Bagdogra to Siliguri, Rangpo, MG Marg and Paljor Stadium, Gangtok was at par level that set an example for upcoming music lovers in Sikkim as well as the entire North East State.
On 26th January, on the occasion of 74th Republic Day function at Paljor Stadium, Gangtok, Govt. of Sikkim presented Jetshen Dohna Lama with a letter of appreciation along with cash prize of rupees ten lakhs. At Raj Bhawan, Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim, Shri Ganga Prasad has also awarded with a letter of appreciation. In his message, he mentioned that Jetshen has made Sikkim proud at the National level due to her unique singing style and melodious voice.
Contributions of HCM of Sikkim
The contributions of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Prem Singh Tamang for the development of Music, Arts, Literature, Drama and Games & Sports in Sikkim are appreciated by all. He said, "There are some who are questioning as to why the State government has come to support Jetshen today. The State government has been supporting artists and achievers in every field who have made Sikkim proud be it in the field of Music, Art, Literature, Sports, Education or Culture. This time, it was Jetshen who made Sikkim proud and I came to welcome her as Sikkimese." The day, Jetshen Lama reached the top ten position in SaReGaMaPa Li'l Champ, Hon’ble Chief Minister was very serious and appealed for mass supports in his face book page and other public meeting, especially at Jorethang Maghey Mela. He had even talked to the Chief Minister of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and other North East States and appealed for supporting her. While expressing a word of gratitude, he said, "This year Jetshen participated in Li'l Champs and by winning the competition, she has brought laurels to the State and everyone is talking about Sikkim right now, Jetshen has inborn talent and she became victorious because of her hard work. But at the same time, everyone's support was equally needed, and everyone from Sikkim, the neighboring hills of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri, Dooars and Tarai areas of Bengal, Nepali Speaking community of India and abroad, Chief Ministers of every Northeast State and India supported her and we are extremely grateful to them."
Jetshen in SaReGaMaPa

India’s longest running singing reality TV show of kids aired on Zee TV, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs Season 9, has just concluded at Mumbai, 22nd January, 2023 with thrilling performances by the best six singers selected on the basis of voting system and judged by the renowned singers and musician of India, Anu Malik, Shankher Mahadevan, Neeti Mohan. SaReGaMaPa L'il Champs 2022 Season 9 officially started on 15 October 2022. It is one of the most popular shows in the country and the people wait for a new season to begin every year so that they can see new talents from the every corner of India. The best six finalists and winner will get the golden opportunity to perform their talent in Bollywood industry and other music industries.
On Sunday’s Blockbuster (22nd January) Grand Finale Jetshen Dohna Lama set stage on fire with her own signature style voice, gesture draped in Rockstar look. Her jaw-dropping performance on two songs ‘Roop Tera Mastana‘ from the film ‘Aradhana‘ originally sung by Kishor Kumar and ‘Badtameez Dil..‘ from film ‘Yeh Jawani Yeh Diwani..‘ was outstanding which even made the special guest Jackie Shroff to bow down with respect before Jetshen, the judges picked up Jetshen and embraced her as if like she’s a butterfly. Speaking on the performance, Jackie Shroff vouched his positive testimony for Jetshen.
Winning moments
Jetshen Dohna Lama won Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs 9 and took home the trophy and Rs 10 lakh as prize money. Her competitors, 1st Runner-up Harsh Sikandar, Rs 5 Lakh, 2nd Runner-up Dnyaneshwari Gadage, Rs 3 Lakh, 4th Place: Atanu Mishra, 5th Place: Atharva Bakshi and 6th Place: Rafa Yeasmin Singer cum Composer Shanker Mahadeva offers Rs 1 Lakh each to all 6 contestants plus free training in his Training Academy. Neeti Mohan has announced that she will bear all the expenditures of education for Harsh Sikandar. Golden Gaming Group of Sikkim presented a cheque of Rs. 3 lakh to Jetshen and assured to sponsor her music education at any music institute in India.
After winning the show, Jetshen has shared her views and future plans to the media. She said, she got inclined towards music after hearing songs in cartoon shows. “I would watch shows like Elsa and get hooked to the songs. That’s how I started my singing journey.” The young champ would like to sing for ‘every actor’ but she does want to collaborate with Sunidhi Chauhan someday. She also shared that her parents have always supported her dreams and want her to achieve every goal. She concluded by noting: "I am definitely taking a bundle of memories along with me and looking forward to my new singing journey, thanking every one for huge supports for me”.
Noteworthy of Jetshen Lama
Looking back to her entry in SaReGaMaPa, Jetshen Dohna Lama is a budding singer who hails from Pakyong District, Sikkim. She performed on Sunidhi Chauhan’s “Udi” song during the audition round. She was passionate about singing since an early age, and her passion and talent led her to the top 8 of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Season 9. Throughout the season, Jetshen captured the attention of judges, audience and viewers from all over India due to her unique style of singing. She is the first kid from North East India who received huge accolades and support in general. Manipur chief minister, Shri N. Biren Singh was the first fan from North East State who came forward to support Jetshen Lama and appealed for vote in her favour. Hon’ble M.P. from Darjeeling LS, Constituency, Shri Raju Bist congratulated and appealed for supporting Jetshen Dohna Lama in his Parliamentary constituency. Those who are in passion of Hindi Bollywood songs all over India and World wholeheartedly supported and voted the Sikkimese singing prodigy to reach her destination. Throughout the season, the little champ was appreciated by all the judges, jury members and celebrity guests for her power-packed performances. She had not only impressed the judges Shankar Mahadevan, Neeti Mohan and Anu Malik but also the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Prem Singh Tamang and Indian legendry Boxer Mary Kom where they tweeted about Jetshen’s versatility on social media and appealed for mass support through voting.
Appreciation and comments from Judges and Cine celebrity
Bollywood's Dream Girl Hema Malini, who appeared to witness the performance of contestant Jetshen on the track ‘Tu Kya Jane O Bewafa’ from the 1974 film ‘Haath Ki Safai’. She called it as perfect as the original version. After the performance of the 9-year-old girl from Sikkim, Hema Malini stated, “You are truly unbelievable, I couldn't have imagined that a girl like you who is so quiet behind the camera, can sing like this”. “I thought a small shy girl had walked onto the stage, but after watching your performance, I can say that even the original song was not like this the way you sang it. Very beautiful”, Hema further praised her. She had compared Jetshen Lama with Lata Mangeshkar, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential singers in India.
Jetshen Dohna Lama, who was much loved by host Bharti Singh, mentioned how she too loves the comedian, and would love to work with her too. Commenting on Jetshen's performance, Mahadevan said: ''Jetshen has been consistently performing at the highest level throughout the season and been working towards perfecting her singing skills week after week. I have really seen her grow as a singer this season." Ace singer Shankar Mahadevan also called her 'Mini Sunidhi Chauhan' of the music industry. Versatile singer Neeti Mohan congratulated the winner and declared: "I have loved and enjoyed her performances throughout the season. I believe she is a really versatile singer with the potential to make her career in the industry." Anu Malik with his popular comments ‘Aaglagadi’ conveyed his best wishes to Jetshen and said, "It has always been a delight to hear her sing. We have seen her grow since the inception of this season. I am certain she has a bright future ahead of her”.
Political Secretary to CM Shri Jacob Khaling who was man behind had attended the programme at Mumbai and narrated how Jetshen Dohna Lama was selected for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa audition starting from her first appearance in Sikkim Idol Season 1. Shri Khaling who is also the Chief Patron of Jetshen Dohna Lama Support Fan Club thanked the supporters and well wishers from Nepal, Bhutan, West Bengal, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, the North East.
Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Govt. of Sikkim had sent 100 Sikkimese Youth and displayed the banner with the support of Jetshen Lama at 26th National Youth Festival held in Huballi-Dharward, Karnataka on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on 12th to 16th January, 2023. Along with them, a group of marathoners based in Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kalimpong who travelled all the way to Mumbai and participated in the marathon as a rally garnering support for Jetshen Dohna Lama.
Music Career
Singing celebrity, Jetshen Dohna Lama belongs to Tamang community of Sikkim. Born on 26th April, 2013 to Roshan Lama and Unish Hamal (Lama) of Pakyong District of Sikkim, Jetshen is a class V reading student of Elbethal Academy of Pakyong. Her father is a contractor by profession and mother is a Teacher, working in Pachey Sr. Sec. School. Looking back to her achievements, Jetshen wom Sikkim Idol in 2022 and Zee TV SaReGaMaPa Li'l Champ in 2022-23. Jetshen also performed in the pre-run event of 6th Sikkim Run at MG Marg, Gangtok organized by a popular NGO, Service to Mankind. As informed by her father, she singing from Pakyong Music Institute followed by Ashok Rai Institute of Music, Siliguri. Before joining the Zee TV reality show SaReGaMaPa Season 9, she was also trained at Reeyaaz Sangeetalaya, Tadong, Gangtok.
Mentors’ comments
As informed by well-known musician, guitarist and proprietor of Pakyong Music Institute, Nagen Chettri who is supposed to be Jetshen's first mentor, “Jetshen is a talented young soul. Her progress in the institute was really impressive. An introvert at first, she gradually opened up well with all. Nagen Chettri further informed that the institute provided her with two other major stages. Stage break at the Bipul Chettri and the Travelling Band concert in Pakyong on 16th April 2022 and East District Sikkim Police Programme in presence of all the higher dignitaries.
He further said, “Jetshen Dohna joined the institute in 16th February 2020. Initially as a Guitar student of mine and after few weeks her mother insisted me to change her primary instrument to keyboard. Then taking formal lessons from me as her basic piano teacher for a month, I provided her a learned piano teacher for rest of her piano classes. Her piano classes continued for few more months then I came up with another fine vocal teacher from Sikkim University itself. His name is Mr Prakash Gurung, Masters in music (vocals) who was willing to teach in the institute for few years. Jetshen then continued the rest of her classes as a vocal student with Mr Prakash Gurung. Regarding Little Champ, I received a call from Mumbai itself regarding my students where I was asked whether any of my students are ready for the competition at Mumbai. The first call I received was by Mr. Kunal Naik (talent hunt team northeast) and Miss Pooja from the same team regarding confirmation of the student. With no second thought I informed them about my early vocal student Jetshen and asked them about all the details. Her parents were overwhelmed and told me that they won’t forget about that ever. They will definitely do that and not only institute’s name but will anyhow promote your credibility too for their daughter’s opportunity”.
Founder Director of Reeyaaz Sangeetalaya, Dr. Manoj Rai informed, “it has been about a year since Jetshen enrolled at Reeyaaz Sangeetalaya. Jetshen is calm nature kid and serious in music. She learned Indian Classical Vocal almost for a year under my guidance. She is extremely talented and God gifted. She is also well-behaved, dedicated, and shy by nature”.
Remanti Rai Founder Principal of Remanti Sangeet Academy at Gangtok Sikkim said, “I have spotted Jetshen D Lama at Pakyong during her first Preliminary Audition of Sikkim Idol. That particular moment I was impressed by her singing style & the tonal quality. Later she presented every time different shades of her in the performances in the following episodes. I have always stated she’s a prodigy. She is already a blessed kid she just required a better mentor. She has proved to our statement and now she has made our state proud in the National platform. I’m proud to be associated on her musical journey during Sikkim idol. Jetshen’s win will definitely inspire the upcoming generations to be more serious in acquiring formal music education. I wish her all the best for her future venture. My support in any ways will always be with Jetshe”.
Music in Sikkim
Sikkim is famous in Indian map not only as a peaceful and organic state but well-known for the rich cultural heritage. In early 90s, Sikkim was known by football due to magnificent performances of legendry Indian Footballer, Bhaichung Bhutia. The latest landmark achievements of Jetshen Dohna Lama proved that Sikkim has lots of potential in music beside sports. Jetshen's win has given a big reason for the entire North East states and rest of the Gorkha community of India to feel proud of. Looking back to the performances of Sikkimese singers, Sikkim Kala Samman recipient, Remanti Rai is a popular singer, composer, mentor and judge of Sikkim who had won the title of North East Ke Superstars organised by North Eastern Council, Government of India. She has also judged the North East’s Biggest Reality Show” North East Got Talent – Season 2. She is the owner and Director of famous Remanti Rai Sangeet Academy well-known for Indian Classical Music, Western Music and Nepali Folk Music which has produces many national level singers.
Pawan Rai, founder/Principal of GANDHAR MUSIC ACADEMY is a musician of Sikkim having degree in classical vocal from Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. He is an established classical singer from Sikkim having contributed and produced national level performers. Dr. Manoj Rai is well-known musician, composer and expert in Hindustani Classical Music who has obtained a doctorate in music tourism. He has also produced high level performers at National level.
Nikita Cintury, popular for her melodious voice was one of the contestants in ‘The Voice of India’ reality show in the year 2016. Before her, Passang Doma Lama also participated in the same competition in 2015 and reached the quarterfinal. Ravi Ghatraj, participated in the Voice of Nepal Season 3 and finished as semifinalist in 202. Sudita Rai is another contestant of Voice of Nepal Season 3 in 2021 who is now popular in Sikkim and has lent her voice in many Nepali music albums. Navin Gajmer and Rewash Gurung are the prominent singers having participated in Voice of Nepal reality singing competition.
Symbol of Gorkha Unity
9 year old girl, Jetshen Lama has not only won singing reality show but showcased an image of Sikkim and united the entire Gorkha community at National level. Jetshen is second form the Nepali Speaking community of India to won the National level singing competitions. In the year 2007, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Terai, Doors areas and rest of the Indian Gorkha Community in India and Nepali community abroad came together to support the Indian Idol Session 3 winner, Prashant Tamang from Darjeeling District (West Bengal).
The biggest question now is can Jetshen continue with her present form and live up to the faith and expectations of Sikkimese people as well as entire music lovers of India? As informed by the Hon’ble CM of Sikkim, Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Govt. is serious to shape the music career of Jetshen Dohna Lama and will extend every necessary help and support for her progress in the field of singing. One thing is visible that the Sky is the limit for Jetshen in Bollywood Music Industry looking at her recent victory and the huge appreciation she received from the top music composers. In India, there are prestigious singing reality shows like Voice of India, Indian Idol, Rising Star, India’s Raw Star, Dil Hai Hindustani, The Stage, The Voice India Kids, Supper Star Singer, SaReGaMaPa and the door is widely open for Jetshen. Now the big responsibility lies with her parent for the future of Jetshen in coordination with the experts, mentors and the Govt. Jetshen has definitely opened the eyes of Sikkimese people, especially for the parent of music lovers. Now onward, any singing competitions including Sikkim Idol, Sikkim e-culture, eSwar will have great value in Sikkim as these competitions will be the first step of the ladder to national fame. Jetshen is has now become a centre of attraction in Indian music and everyone expects her to be India’s top singer in Bollywood Industry in future. My best wishes and congratulations to Jetshen Dohna Lama and her parents for making Sikkim state proud and uniting the Gorkha community at National and International platform.   
(Author is Additional Director, Sports & Youth Affairs Department)

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi