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Cecil Kumar

Cecil Kumar was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, on March 21, 1947. His father passed away, when he was less than a year old, and he was raised by his grand mother, aunt and mother. Ever since he was young, his creativity was recognised. He received training in classical music and started composing songs from the age of 9. He was a child artist in All India Radio, Jaipur.
When Cecil Kumar was pursuing his engineering studies, he felt God calling him for full-time ministry. He immediately obeyed God and went on to study at Southern Asia Biblical College (SABC) in Bangalore. While at SABC, he started participating in Gospel radio ministry through FEBA (Far East Broadcasting Association), where he composed and recorded several gospel songs in Hindi. And he produced many radio programmes in Hindi language.
His most famous children’s programme called ‘Bachchon ka Dost’ made him ‘Bhaiya’ to several children, parents and grandparents alike. His drama programme called ‘Asha ki Kiran’ brought hope to many. His programme ‘Jawanon ki Awaz’ was an eye opener to young people.
In 1969, God gave him the Vandna song, which went on to become astoundingly popular. ‘Vandna Karte Hain Hum’ was used as the Theme Music for the Masihi Vandana programme by Back to the Bible Broadcasting Co. And it was broadcasted at 6.45am everyday from Radio Ceylon for over 20 years.
Cecil Kumar continued to write gospel lyrics and compose music. To his credit, he has written over 300 gospel songs, many of which were played regularly on radio channels and also sung by hundreds of church congregations.
He served in FEBA India for several years and produced high-quality grade radio programmes. Just like he was one of the pioneers of light classical, Hindi Gospel music, he paved the way for better Christian radio programmes to match secular and professional standards.
During the late Seventies, Cecil Kumar started producing television programmes on National Doordarshan. Doordarshan authorities relented to his persistence, agreeing to produce Christian programmes during special festivals like Christmas and Easter.
When colour transmission started on National TV in mid 80s, Cecil Kumar was one of the top two producers, to whom Doordarshan assigned films. To Cecil Kumar’s honour, the other producer was none other than the acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
Cecil Kumar made some noteworthy TV films; to name a few: Pony Wala, Krisht Katha and Shayad. He went on to direct a feature film ‘Rangilee Chunariyan, Rang Mein Tohar’ in the Bhojpuri language.
In 80s, he formed a 40 voice choir called ‘Gospel Melodies’, which performed in churches, stage programmes and also recorded songs. All the young boys and girls, who were encouraged and nurtured by Cecil Bhaiya (as addressed lovingly by them) are still in awe of his talents and magnanimous nature.
Later in the 90s, BBC World Service invited him to be a part of the panel of their Senior Producers. During that time, he collaborated with Doordarshan producers on a number of films on social issues such as Leprosy awareness.
Cecil Kumar, now in his early 70s, continues to write songs, compose music and sing for the Glory of God. He is the happiest in front of his keyboard, creating music and praising the Lord. To his family, he is a hero and a role model. For Indian Christians, he is part of a hidden history of indigenous Christian music.