Binoy K. Bordoloi, Bridgewater, NJ
I was at Jorhat during Magh Bihu recently along with my brother and sister. There was a particularly significant event organized by Asom Sahitya Sabha (ASS) at Jorhat on January 12, 2013 - inauguration of the "Samajratna Dr. Nobin Chandra Bordoloi Smriti Sadan", in memory of our late father. This was a built up area of about 3100 square feet at the first floor of the Radhakanta Handique Bhawan. This has been dedicated as the permanent office of Jorhat Zila Sahitya Sabha along with a Conference Hall with a sitting capacity of eighty. Its location is the central office of ASS, the premises of the Chandrakanta Handique Bhawan.
A trust has been created in its name for organizing the annual event of "memorial lecture / award on performing arts". The trust was signed by the President, Padmassree Rong Bong Terang and General Secretary, Dr. Paramananda Rajbanshi, of ASS. My brother, Dr. Bijoy Bordoloi, and I signed on behalf of the Bordoloi Family as donors along with many friends and relatives as witnesses.
A booklet, titled "Smriti Pradeep" has been published and released that day, which has more details. I will send one copy each to Dr. Deva Borah and Dr. Monoranjan Bezboruah. I will be glad to distribute a few copies at the Assam Convention Detroit in July 2013.
With the sponsorship of Dr. Shonit Das and Mr. Abir Das, AANA established an annual service award beginning in 2011, in the name of late Dr. Kamna Das who was an inspiration to all the members of AANA.
This year, this prestigious award was presented to the 'Assamese School of Language and Performing Arts' of Calgary, Canada.
The 'Assamese School of Language and Performing Arts' was formally inaugurated on February 6, 2011. A grant was given by the Alberta Government to start the school. The funding helped in starting off the school by covering costs for books and other materials. The objective of the school is to provide education to the younger generation and small children in the native language of Assam and also to teach them Assamese culture, heritage and performing arts.
The school is run by AAA (Assam Association of Alberta) and the teachers are volunteers from AAA. The community believes that while integrating into a predominantly global society and a larger Canadian society, it is important for the new generation to be aware and knowledgeable of their own unique culture and heritage. Please see the teachers, students, and volunteers at the end of this report (Page 11).
We were very happy to present the award to the worthy recipients. Congratulations to the teachers and the students for embarking on their worthwhile journey of teaching and learning. All the best for continued success of the school!
Krishanu Kaushik, Michigan
The Chief Minister's Best Community Action Award for Development' on the 66th Anniversary of India's Independence Day, was presented by Mr. Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam, to 'Atma Nirbhar - Ek Challenge', on the 15th August, 2012, at the Khanapara Parade Ground in Guwahati. This Organisation, which is a very close partner organization of AFNA in Guwahati, received the award for promotion of employment of the disabled. The award was received by three of the disabled work persons, accompanied by Kaushik Das.
Atma Nirbhar - Ek Challenge, means 'Self Reliance - a Challenge'. ‘Atma Nirbhar-Ek Challenge’ works for the welfare of the weakest sections of our society.
It has two programs:
1. ‘Atma Nirbhar Ek Challenge: the primary objective is to offer disabled and disadvantaged persons an opportunity to work with dignity and earn a living through packaging of tea and spices.
2. ‘Spreading Sunshine’: the aim is to improve the quality of life of the disadvantaged and marginalized people living in residential social welfare institutions (like orphanages, remand homes etc.) by providing them with ‘outside assistance’, mobilized from the public.
Thanks to the generosity of our members and donors AFNA is proud to support 14 out of the 38 disabled workers who earn a dignified livelihood by doing productive work in this unique organization. It takes only $40 a month to support one worker. Please come forward to support a disabled worker and help them to attain their goal of providing employment to 100 disabled persons.
SHILLONG CHAMBER CHOIR (SCC) in the USA.
Hitesh Kalita, Washington D.C
The Shillong Chamber Choir is an Indian chamber choir based in Shillong, Meghalaya (State in the North East of India); founded in 2001, it shot to fame after it won the reality talent show, India's Got Talent in October 2010, on Colors TV , where it performed western chorals, as well as choral-style revamps of Hindi film (Bollywood) classics. Prior to this, the choir also participated in the 6th World Choir Games held at Shaoxing China (Shanghai) in July 2010 and was awarded with Gold Diplomas in all the three categories – Musica Sacra, Gospel and Popular. The internationally acclaimed Shillong Chamber Choir group consisting of 18 members was invited to perform in 7th world Choir Games 2012 (WCG) in Cincinnati on July 11-14 ‘2012. The group was seeking help for accommodation in Cincinnati during this period. The total cost of the accommodation was worth of 10 k. The group also showed willingness to perform in D.C and other places in front of Indian Community in the USA. That’s where Mr. Ike Sinha, the Director of SCC group was primarily in touch with us if NE community in the USA can support their stay and organize performances in the USA. Initially we tried to communicate our AFNA volunteers, especially Partha Gogoi, Satyajit Nath and Krishanu Kaushik who was ready to sponsor one SCC member each for their stay. This gave us the moral boost needed.
Initially, it was a great challenge to organize such accommodations for 18 members in the USA and find solicitors in a very short period of time. Hitesh Kalita was trying to reach all his friends to discuss about the SCC group and was fortunate enough to meet a couple of key people from Meghalaya during a business meet in Washington D.C. He discussed with them about the visit of the SCC group and finally were able to manage the accommodation in Cincinnati. With the help of more key peoples from NE who are living in the USA, they did manage not to pay $10 k to 2012 WCG. At the same time, they contacted Indian Embassy and few other business leaders who helped to organize a couple of goodwill concerts in Washington D.C area. The concerts were held in IMF, Indian Embassy and Maryland. The airfare of the SCC group was sponsored by State Govt. of Meghalaya.
We definitely would like to give huge credits to our friends Mr.Shann Fanwar, Mrs. Rosetta (Lyngdoh) and Mr. Michael Rathnam who have helped organizing various events in the USA. They are from Meghalaya and based in Washington D.C area. They have been a great support to the Shillong Chamber Choir group during their entire stay in the USA. We also like to mention about Kamala Edwards, Vijay Pandit, and Franklin Khandagle who played a key role in organizing the events in a limited timeframe. This would not have been possible without these people’s generous support.