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A call to join the Festival of Good
Suthol Pathiktrit Introductory Film 2017
The Suthol Pathikrits 2017
'Gaurav Ma' Snehlata Hooda
In 2006 she retired from her services in Delhi administration and thought "after getting relieved of family responsibility, it is time to do my bit for society".
She told her family that she would like to spend all her pension on the education of poor kids and set up a school for them. But it took much more than her pension to pursue her dream.
To start with, she walked the streets and convinced the housemaids, istriwallahs and drivers in the neighbourhoods to send their children to her school by the wayside. Out of 80 children thus gathered, 50 left within few weeks. It took all her willpower, dedication and persistence to reach the point where Gaurav Niketan now has 5OO students on its rolls, all belonging to the under-privileged section of the society.
She Is Snehlata Hooda, fondly called "Gaurav Ma' by the students and locals of Gurgaon, near Delhi.
She teaches the children Hindi, counting and basic English in two batches. Realizing that formal education is not enough for the children since most of them need to start earning early, she has arranged for vocational training for them too.
Snehlata Hooda is now past 70 years of age. Still invincible in spirit and raring to go. She took part in the Delhi half marathon at 68. This April she had gone to New Zealand to represent India in javelin throw at the World Masters Game. And she wants to continue teaching her children till her last breath. "These kids are my own now and I dont want to give up on them. I want these kids not only to help themselves but also their next generation. After all only education can bring change", says Gaurav Ma.
For snowing us that life starts at 58, for her tenacity and stamina to continue against odds, for being a beacon of hope to the children who without her would be without hope- Snehlata Hooda is SutholPathikrit.
Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee
In the year 1999, a group of young students ofJadavpur University's comparative literature department got together to stage a musical evening of folk songs. The group leader was a student belonging to a musical family of Silchar. It was to be a tribute to the memory of his "Chotokaka" who had been a singer with his own folk music group and a passionate collector of folk songs. They hand painted their T-shirts, another helped print the invitations. Then the friends went to their favourite teacher and asked him to name the group. He called it "Dohar".
For Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee, student from Silchar, Rajib Das and the rest of the Dohar group that was the beginning of their journey to put folk music firmty on the modern music map.
But Kail ka Praud was much more than a singer, a music director, a presenter par excellence and leader of the highly acclaimed Dohar group. He believed that folk music was actually created by the folk artists residing in the villages. He would he delving deep into this never-ending wealth, staying with the folk artists in the villages days on end and helping them in their hours of need as family. Kalika used to say that to preserve folk music we must first sustain the folk artists.
To provide a platform to the unknown folk performers he started Sahaj Parav- a three day long annual event, where folk musicians and performers would get a chance to showcase their talents alongside established performers.
Kalika Prasad was a man with conscience and commitment, a passion for music and great love far the musicians of rural India who got left out in the mad race for success.
A freak road accident took away this ever-smiling man from our midst, this March. He will forever remain in our hearts and minds.
For showing us how a genuinely passionate person walks past the trappings of fame, thinks about and helps his fellow musicians less fortunate and in need - Kalika Prasad Bhattacharjee is Suthol Pathikrit.
Kuchhia, Dangorjori-two unknown names. Most of us would probably not give them a second glance. Just for records, they are tiny villages in the very interiors of Purulia district. A hot, arid region with hungry, desolate people categorised as "most backward".
The villages in question were the same, until a group of dreamers led by Kamal Chakraborty formed the society 'Bhalopahar' wlth the ideal, "I, alone, cannot take the responsibility of the whole of India. I therefore will fight for one or two villages. These villages will be 'My India'".
The villages now, have a Bhalopahar school with the motto of connecting the children with their own culture in addition to formal learning. The aim is to have these children grow up truly educated, responsible, willing to give back to the society rather than living only for themselves.
In an area classified as arid-3, aggravated by unrestricted brick kilns and cutting of trees, Bhalopahar has been pursuing planting and maintenance of trees in a systematic and determined manner. Today tracts of green greet locals and visitors alike, in place of parched red earth. Bhalopariar operates a health care centre with medical camps. Alternative livelihood projects are organized to provide work. A steadily growing stream of volunteers have joined in the efforts.
For his courage to transform his own absurd dreams into action, for his persisting efforts to enrich the lives of those few care about. Kamal Chakraborty of Bhalopahar is Suthol Pathikrit.
Suthol Pathikrit Samman Event
- 17th June, 2017, Saturday
- Nazrul Mancha, Southern Avenue, Kolkata 700029
- Guest in chief
- Swami Biswatmananda ( Dilip Maharaj), General Secretary- Bharat Sevashram Sangha
- Special Guest
- Dr. Prasanta Banerji, World renowned homeopath
- Musical Program
- Performance by ‘Joler Gaan’ music band from Bangladesh.
Members of the Jury- Suthol Pathikrit Samman
Mr. Anindya Chatterjee
Singer, Lyricist, Composer, Director and Actor
Lead vocalist and one of the founders of the Bengali band Chandrabindoo
Mrs. Malaya Goswami
National Best Actress Award winner 1992 for her role as ‘Ritu’ in Assamese film ‘Firingoti’
Jury member in National Film Festivals 1994, 2000 & 2013
Founder Secretary of ‘Arpita’, a socio-cultural organisation to help women and children in distress
Head of the Department of Education, Jagi Road College, Guwahati
Ms. Alokananda Roy
Famous danseuse, whose involvement and contribution to dance has been parallel to her work amidst the social marginalized.
Managing Director, G. D. Pharmaceuticals, The Boroline People