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Hira Devi Waiba
Picture taken 2010
|Born||9 September 1940|
Ambootia, Darjeeling, India
|Died||19 January 2011|
Kadamtala, Siliguri, India
|Genres||Nepali Folk, Tamang Selo|
|Occupation(s)||Nepali Folk singer|
|Instruments||Madal, harmonium, damphu|
|Labels||HMV, Radio Nepal, Music Nepal, AIR|
Her song 'Chura ta Hoina Astura' (Nepali: चुरा त होइन अस्तुरा) is said to be the first Tamang Selo ever recorded. Hira Devi Waiba is the only Nepali folk singer to have cut albums (in 1974 and 1978) with HMV, Kolkata. She was the sole Grade A Nepali Folk Singer with All India Radio.
Hira Devi Waiba came from a family of musicians from Ambootia Tea Estate near Kurseong and was one in the line of a long generation of Nepali folk singers and musicians. She was born to parents Singh Man Singh Waiba (father) and Tshering Dolma (mother). She has sung nearly 300 folk songs during her musical career spanning 40 years. Her singing career began when she recorded three songs in Kurseong for Radio Nepal in 1966. She worked as an announcer at the All India Radio station in Kurseong from 1963 to 1965.
Waiba's popular songs include Phariya Lyaaidiyechan, Ora Daudi Jaanda and Ramri tah Ramri. As a tribute to her father, Waiba had opened the SM Waiba International Music and Dance Academy at her home in Kadamtala, near Siliguri in 2008. Hira Waiba died on 19 January 2011 at the age of 71 years after suffering burn injuries in a fire accident at her home. She is survived by two children Navneet Aditya Waiba and Satya Waiba.
As a tribute to the Legend Hira Devi Waiba, her children Satya Waiba and Navneet Aditya Waiba re-recorded and released some of her hit singles in 2016-2017. Navneet sang and Satya looked after the production and management of the project 'Ama Lai Shraddhanjali -Tribute to Mother', hence moving the legacy further.
Hira Devi was awarded the Mitrasen Purashkar by the Nepali Akademi of Darjeeling in 1986, the Mitrasen Smriti Puraskar by the Sikkim government in 1996, the Agam Singh Giri Puraskar in 2001 and the Gorkha Saheed Sewa Samiti’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Nepal government had awarded her the Gorkha Dakshina Bahu (Knighthood of Nepal), Sadhana Samman and the Madhurima Phul Kumari Mahato Award.