Palak Muchhal charity work 1997–2000
Muchhal became a member of Kalyanji-Anandji Little Star, a group of young singers, when she was four years old. During the Kargil War of 1999, when aged seven, she spent a week singing at shops in her home city, Indore, to raise funds for the families of deceased Indian soldiers. Her efforts received substantial coverage in Indian media and she raised ₹25,000 (US$810). Later that year, she sang to raise funds for victims of the 1999 Odisha cyclone.
Her decision to use her voice to help others was triggered when she saw poor children using their clothes to clean train compartments. Around the same time, teachers at Nidhi Vinay Mandir, an Indore-based school, approached Muchhal and her parents with a request for a charity show to raise funds for their pupil, Lokesh, who was suffering from a congenital heart defect. Lokesh’s father was an impoverished footwear shop-owner and was unable to afford the high cost of heart surgery. Muchhal and her parents agreed to arrange a show and in March 2000, she used a street vendor’s cart as a stage for the event and collected ₹51,000 (US$1,600) towards the cost of surgery. The attendant publicity prompted Bangalore-based cardiologist, Devi Prasad Shetty, to operate on Lokesh free of charge. Muchhal’s parents published advertisements in local newspapers to promote donations toward heart surgery for children like Lokesh. The outcome of this was a list of 33 children in need of heart surgery.
A series of charity shows were arranged later in that year, from which ₹225,000 (US$7,200) were raised. This money was used to provide heart surgery for five children in Bangalore and Bhandari Hospital Indore. To help Muchhal in her efforts to save lives of children at relatively low cost, T. Choithram Hospital of Indore halved the cost of surgery from ₹80,000 (US$2,600) to ₹40,000 (US$1,300) and one of its surgeons, Dhiraj Gandhi, decided to waive his fee for cases brought in by Muchhal.
Palak Muchhal charity work 2001–2010
Since 2000, Muchhal has travelled extensively in India and abroad for her charity show, which is billed in Hindi as “Dil Se Dil Tak” (“From heart to heart”) and in English as “Save Little Hearts”. Her younger brother, Palash, performs in the same shows with the intent of raising funds for children who have kidney ailments. On average, Muchhal sings around 40 songs in each show which includes popular Bollywood songs, Ghazals and Bhajans. Muchhal can sing in 17 different languages which includes Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Oriya, Assamese, Rajasthani, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Sindhi and Malayalam.
In 2001 Muchhal, raised around one million rupees for the victims of 2001 Gujarat earthquake. In July 2003, Muchhal offered financial assistance through her charity funds to parents of a two-year-old Pakistani girl who had a hole in the heart. Muchhal’s charity organisation is named as “Palak Muchhal Heart Foundation”. As of March 2006 this foundation had financially assisted 200 children in undergoing heart surgery. By the end of the year 2006 Muchhal had raised ₹1.2 crore (US$170,000) for this foundation which were used to save lives of 234 children. To ensure that operations of children do not stop due to lack of money, Bhandari Hospital in Indore has allowed an overdraft of up to one million rupees to Palak Muchhal Heart Foundation. In 2006 Muchhal was one of the five heroic stories broadcast by Star Gold channel as part of its “Rang De Basanti Salaam” (Salute to Color of Sacrifice) initiative. By June 2009 Muchhal had staged 1,460 charity shows across the world which had raised ₹1.71 crore (US$240,000) for Palak Muchhal Heart Foundation. These funds helped to save the lives of 338 children.
Doctors allow Muchhal to be present in the operating theatre. She has her own surgical gown in the hospital and when the operation takes place she chants from the Bhagavad Gita. Muchhal and her parents do not receive any financial benefits from the charity shows but she receives a doll for every child whose life she helps make better through her efforts.
Palak Muchhal charity work 2011–2020
In 2011, Muchhal entered in Bollywood as professional playback singer but her efforts to help child heart patients continued. In August 2015, funds raised by her has helped to save the lives of 800 children. As of October 2020, she with her brother has saved 2,200 lives of children.