The London-based Bengal Heritage Foundation (BHF), which promotes Bengal’s culture and heritage among the diaspora, has launched “Think Tank” a digital platform where Bengalis across the globe can discuss relevant topics.
“The first ‘Think Tank’ programme will consist of three webinar sessions on various topics related to the current global situation,” Sourav Niyogi, president, BHF, told TOI from London.
The webinar series has been designed to connect people with shared interest on art, culture and heritage. The webinars will have participants from UK, Ireland, India and Bangladesh interacting through the digital media. Along with BHF, London Sharad Utsav (LSU) and British Council will host and present the webinars. Eminent speakers with deep understanding of the topics for each webinar will conduct the webinars and online audience will be participating with their viewpoints and real-time questions.
The first webinar around mid-July will be on the “Impact of Covid Pandemic on Durga Puja globally in 2020”. The talk session, “Coronasurmardini” will have Puja committee organizers from London Sharad Utsav (UK), Ahiritola Sarbojonin, Bhowanipore 75 Pally, Ballygunge Cultural Association, Wales Pujo Committee, Cardiff and Dublin Durga Pujo Committee taking part.
“This year, the worry for Bengalis all over the world is palpable and the single most important question that is doing the rounds is what will happen to the Durga Puja festivals given the lockdown and social distancing rules. As, president of one of the biggest Durga Pujo in the UK, I can say that we have the same concern. Hence this webinar with key Durga Puja committees from around the globe and brainstorm to see what are the possible solutions to some of the challenges that the pandemic has brought with it,” said Anirban Mukhopadhyay, president, London Sharad Utsav.
The discussion will include what are the various options for the celebration available in different countries maintaining social distancing, what are the best ways to protect livelihoods of dhakis, idol-makers, pandal-makers who are economically dependent on a festival of this grand scale. “We all know the positivity Durga Puja brings in our lives and given the current situation we all need that positivity more than ever. This topic is very close to my heart,” said Bidisha Datta, member, BHF.
The second topic for webinar lined up later in July is “Statues and Heritage in today’s context.” The discussion will focus on what should be the fate of some of the statues that have a history of racism. The third webinar will be on “Healthcare in India and UK in the Covid environment” likely to be held in August with top medical practitioners across India and the UK, discussing on the physical and mental health wellbeing.
Source:Times of India