Vitthal Umap (15 July 1931 - 26 November 2010) was a folk singer, shahir and social worker.
He died while performing at a function in Nagpur on a Saturday, 27 November 2010 1:40am. Umap, a follower of BR Ambedkar, collapsed while he was onstage at Nagpur's famous Dikshabhoomi. He was rushed to a private nursing home where he was declared dead. Born in a Mumbai chawl in 1931, Umap struggled for recognition of the neglected folk genres of Maharashtra. He had toured extensively all over the state to keep alive the folk traditions.
Umap had won the first prize at the International Folk Music and Art Festival at Cork, Ireland. His roles in Shyam Benegal's TV series Bharat Ek Khoj and Jabbar Patel's film Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar won him further laurels. He was nominated for the best actor's award for his performance in a Marathi film Tingya two years ago.
After years of wait, Umap was recently given a house under the artistes' quota.
At a cultural programme three months ago, a frustrated Umap declared that he was fed up with making innumerable requests to the government. "I don't think I will get a house in my lifetime," he had said.
Then chief minister Ashok Chavan had earlier sanctioned plush houses to many artistes -- several of them lower in stature than Umap.
Then deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who was present at the show, vowed that he would get the singer a flat and fulfilled his promise within a fortnight.
Awards 01 : Sangeet natak akademi puraskar :delhi govt 2010. 02 : MATA purskar for the best actor for Jam bhul Akhyan. 03 : Republican party of India on the occasion of dr.baba saheb centenary yearawarded "Kalawant Puraskar". 04 : From akhil bahartiya magazine "ladath Puraskar"1995-96. 05 : Maharastra sashan sanskritik puraskar1996. 06 : Shri sarswati jondhale smruti 2000 "Lok Vangmay Puraskar.