Let There Be Light

Scouting For Jewels From The Underbellies of Kolkata

Kolkata: With full concentration, Nafisa Ali, was seen painting a pot, and when asked about the event she replied, “I like to paint. So, when I was told about this event, I knew that I had to participate. This is the first time that I am participating in such a big event.” Nafisa, was representing Tiljala Shed and most of the other participants who were painting the post in vibrant hues, were little aware of the fact that the judge of the event, Ranodeep Saha, a final year engineering student and founder of Rare Planet, an entrepreneurship that specializes in hand-painted terracotta products, had a surprise for them as well as for event organizers.

Saha, announced on the occasion, “The top three contestants of this event will get a chance to be trained by Rare Earth.”

While he told to eNewsroom, “In India, not many are interested in this form of art. I am impressed by the number of students participating in this event.”

A little away from the creative zone was the most happening zone of BITM – the auditorium, where the participants were all geared to dance and win. “I am a participant for the cultural event. I have participated in many events organized between the Rainbow schools, but this is my first performance in the auditorium. I hope, I am able to give a super performance,” said an excited, Riya Saha, a standard XI student of Loreto Rainbow Home, Elliot Road.

Loreto Rainbow Home is an initiative of all Loreto Schools across Kolkata, where underprivileged young girls from nearby localities are provided quality education.

Another participant, Anjali Paswan from Calcutta Social Project, said, “I am feeling very nervous. I shall be giving a classical dance performance. I am self-tutored. However, I didn’t have much time to prepare, as we had our exams.”

On Sunday morning, Birla Institute of Technical Museum donned a different look, with at least over hundred of teens from at least 10 educational institutes for the underprivileged assembled for a fest that to remember. The one-day extravaganza – Nakshatra, organized by the Kolkata Chapter of Bhumi, an independent volunteer non-profit organisations, which provides educational support to over 20000 kids from the marginalized section of the society.

The event had been segregated into zones – literary, art and cultural, where participants were seen doing pottery painting, paper modelling, answering questions during the quiz, writing stories, reciting, dancing and doing the essential thing – enjoy the first inter-orphanage/shed talent festival.

It was a near replication of the fests or annual events organized by the top schools. “Most of the children that we work with have never had the chance of experiencing what a school fest is like. This is an attempt to give these kids a taste of what it is like to perform in an auditorium or what it is like to have judges deciding on their performances or art,” said, Afreen Zaman, city-associate, Bhumi, Kolkata.

However, the real winners of the event were the volunteers, who devoted several hours a week for almost two months. “We used to meet on the weekends and had a WhatsApp group. This was a very nice attempt at providing a platform to the underprivileged kids, I am glad, that I volunteered,” said Razia Sultana, a public relation professional based in Kolkata.

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