Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Foundation Day, 2017

VKIC celebrated its 21st Foundation Day on January 31st, 2017 at its Williamson Magor Auditorium in a solemn function. The main highlight of the programme was the conferring of VKIC Sanmaan 2017. Every year VKIC honours a person of distinction who has worked tirelessly for the promotion of indigenous faith and culture of his or her people on its Foundation Day. This year the award was conferred on Srimad Shyamananda Brahmachary of West Garo Hills. The Award comprised a selang chadar, citation, memento and a sum of Rs. 25,000.

In his welcome address, Dr. Parimal Chandra Bhattacharjee, Director, Research Advisory Council, stated that the objective of VKIC is to find the commonalities existing within the different ethnic communities; focusing mainly on the cultural aspect of the communities. VKIC works with the belief that “Cultures nurtures Unity.”

Srimad Shyamananda Brahmachary, the spiritual leader of Borkona Ashram Dhubri, in his acceptance speech shared his experience of taking up the task of working for the uplift of people from various communities - Hajong, Koch, Garo and Rabha. He made an appeal to the people to support him in his struggle to retain the indigenous faith, traditions and culture of these ethnic communities. He said that lack of education and employment opportunities were compelling people to forsake their ancient beliefs, culture and heritage.

The Chief Guest of the Programme Prof. Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe made a power-point presentation on “Innovation: Key to India’s Transformation.” In his presentation Prof. Sahasrabudhe, currently the Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), showcased the rich innovative spirit and skills prevalent during ancient times, and stressed the need of encouraging “Innovation” among the younger generation of today. He also highlighted the steps taken up by the Government of India towards this end with projects like mygov.in, an e-initiative for citizens to participate in innovative programmes. He, however, added that the ambience of creating an innovative atmosphere lies with the people and not just with the government.

A cultural presentation by a Tiwa Cultural group concluded the programme. The Tiwas are among the many indigenous communities of Assam with rich traditions of customs, rituals and folk culture. They are known also for their melodious songs which celebrate Nature in its many forms. 

The performing artistes of the Tiwa community impressed the audience by presenting vignettes of their rural life, which including agricultural activities,marriage rituals, ceremonial naming of a child, and traditional community fishing, Today, Tiwa society, like many others in Assam,is undergoing transformation. However, many of them, particularly community elders, cherish and promote their traditional beliefs and pristine culture.