Monthly Archives: February 2017

Memorial on Mahasweta Devi to come up in Kolkata

(Pic Credit: Google)

A memorial to Magsaysay award winning late author and social activist Mahasweta Devi will be set up at her residence in Rajdanga in Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on February 27.

“The memorial is ready. The memorial will house her belongings, books, and other materials used by her,” Banerjee said during an informal interaction with mediapersons at Eco Park.

Jnanpith awardee Mahasweta Devi, who crusaded for the rights of tribals and the marginalised throughout her life, died on July 28, 2016.

Banerjee also said the state government would establish memorials for famed journalists Barun Sengupta, Gour Kishore Ghosh and Amitabha Chowdhury. The government also had plans to rename roads after the three journalists. A road close to the office of the Bartaman newspaper on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass founded by Sengupta would be rechristened after him.

The government was on the lookout for sites to set up the memorials on June 19.

source: / The Times of India / News> Lifestyle> Books / IANS / February 28th, 2017

Kolkata sculptor moulds President’s statue

Kolkata :

Last time sculptor Niranjan Pradhan worked with a model offering live sitting was 50 years ago in 1966-67, when he was a student at art college and professional models posed for students to sketch and sculpt human figures.

The sessions helped the artist create some of his best bronze figures, including that of Raja Rammohan Roy in Bristol, Vivekananda, Tagore and Jagadish Chandra Bose at Burdwan University , Satyajit Ray at Roop Kala Kendra and Uttam Kumar at Tollygunge. “One gets to sculpt only famous personalities or gods and goddesses. Artists usually don’t get to sculpt a live person,” said Pradhan. Little did he know he would get the rare opportunity , and the model would be none other than President Pranab Mukherjee.

Over five sessions last year, Mukherjee sat without as much as twitching a facial muscle as Pradhan gave the finishing touches to his statue, now at Rashtrapati Bhavan. “Rashtrapati Bhavan wanted to commission a work for the collection of President’s busts. I readily agreed,” Pradhan said.

Mukherjee had to first go in for a shoot, in which he was photographed from various angles.Based on the photos, Pradhan did the initial clay modelling and then a fibre glass mould, which he carried to Delhi for a live session with Mukherjee for finishing touches. “I was excited about checking out how my sculpture had fared compared to the person,” the artist said.But Pradhan was in for disappointment as Mukherjee got busy with meetings and then left for China.

The next time Pradhan visited Rasthrapati Bhavan was a couple of months later.But this time, he was pleasantly surprise. Not only did Mukherjee give him a day’s sitting, he also sat through for an hour, daily for five days in a row. “He was the perfect model.He was very cooperative and even spent time after the sitting to see how the work progressed,” Pradhan said.

The artist created a plaster cast of the final sculpture and returned to his Salt Lake studio for a bronze casting.

The bust was delivered to Rashtrapati Bhavan in time to be installed next to APJ Abdul Kalam’s bust on December 11, Mukherjee’s birthday .

source: / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Kolkata News / by Subhro Niyogi / TNN / February 27th, 2017

Feted for gift of 30 years of music

G.V. Subramanian, secretary and joint director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, felicitates Sujit Bhattacharyya at the school auditorium on Saturday. Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee

The man who gave classical music a regular stage in Salt Lake was felicitated last Saturday by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Sujit Bhattacharyya was handed the Parvathi and K.V. Gopalakrishnan endowment at a programme held at the school auditorium for giving young talent a platform over three decades through his organisation Salt Lake Cultural Association.

“Proficiency in classical music is tough to acquire but I would give more credit to the organisers of classical music programmes, especially if young talent is showcased. It is not easy to judge what a musician would be like in 10 years. It is even tougher to carry on doing this for so long. I hope the younger generation takes up the baton from him and carries on under his mentorship,” said Bikram Sarkar, retired IAS and a two-time MLA who stays in AD Block.

The president of the association Asit Kumar Chatterjee recalled the first annual concert 30 years back. “Now we have some resources. Then he was alone. But he was fired by this passion to make this happen. People are ready to loosen their purse strings for Durga puja or Kali puja but tell them you want to organise a classical music concert and you will get neither help nor audience.”

Acclaimed tabla player Suven Chatterjee recalled being scolded on multiple occasions by “Sujitda”. “I called him Sujitda instead of kaku since he was so handsome and I was worried that he might scold me if I called him uncle,” he smiled, adding how he got a chance to play with doyens like Girija Devi and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt at the conference’s programmes down the years.

Sitarist Mita Nag, daughter of Pandit Manilal Nag, recalled how Bhattacharyya had offered her the foyer of Gyan Manch where the annual concert was being held to put up her exhibition on Bishnupur gharana when she met him seeking space.

source: / The Telegraph,Calcutta,India / Front Page> Salt Lake> Story / by A Staff Reporter / Friday – February 24th, 2017

Software for tiger watch in Buxa

Alipurduar :

The Union ministry of environment and forests has launched a software to ensure better monitoring of tigers that will be introduced in the Buxa Tiger Reserve by April.

The software has been made in collaboration with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for all tiger reserves in the country.

“MSTrIPES”, a hi-tech monitoring system, would be introduced in Buxa Tiger Reserve by April and each beat officer will get an Android phone with the software inbuilt that will help to monitor tigers in the habitat, Ujjal Ghosh, the field director of the BTR, said.

There are 42 beat offices in Buxa with one officer each.

MSTrIPES is a GPS-based software that will provide patrolling protocols and record wildlife crimes.

The software will also handle ecological monitoring and store data related to tiger monitoring.

Ghosh said: “The forest guards will have to fill in information about the area they patrolled and number of tigers spotted daily in the Android phones. This information will be passed by the beat officer to the forest range officer who will forward the same to the division officer, followed by the state government. The state will then pass on the information to the Tiger Control Cell of WII in Dehradun. Through this system, there will be a statistical analysis of data regarding protection and monitoring of the tigers.”

According to a forest officer, the BTR is important to the NTCA because ‘Tiger Augmentation Programme’ would be held here this year.

source: / The Telegraph,Calcutta,India / Front Page> North Bengal> Story / by Our Correspondent / Thursday – February 23rd, 2017