Missing Ghazal singer Vithal Rao passes away

Pandit Vithal Rao , the last Ghazal singer of the Nizam of Hyderabad who gone missing from Shirdi on May 29 was found at the mortuary of Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on Friday morning. He was 85.

Vithal Rao, who was an Alzheimer patient, was invited by Telangana government to sing on the occasion of the foundation day of the state on June 2 but from there he went missing. On Wednesday, police found him in an unconscious state at Begumpet station but he was almost unrecognisable. His spectacles went missing and he also grown up beard. He was admitted to Gandhi Government Hospital.

He regained consciousness but did not speak. On Thursday night, he told a hospital attendant that his name was Vithal Rao and soon after that he breathed his last. On Friday morning, senior sub inspector Shyam Babu went to the mortuary to verify and found that he was indeed Vithal Rao . His son Santosh Rao was informed.

One of Pt Rao’s disciples and singer Indira Naik, said, “It is really sad to see that a great soul and singer like him go through these circumstances. We will always remember the things which he taught us through his own work and service to music.”

Noted playback singer Hariharan said, “He was a great artist and above all a beautiful human being. I pray for him and God bless his soul. The thing that I would certainly remember about him is his impeccable knowledge and huge collection of Ghazals. He will always be remembered for his simplicity and humility.”

The last rites of Vithal Rao will be performed on Saturday.