Baikal Teal from Siberia is back at Santrachachi Jheel , Howrah

January 17, 2012

The Baikal Teal from Siberia is back at Santragachhi Jheel after six years, the bird’s brilliant green head standing out among a flock of Lesser Whistling Ducks. A Baikal Teal was last seen at the lake in 2005 and bird watchers say it has been spotted only four times in 12 years in Bengal. Four of the species — two males and two females — have been sighted this time. The vegetarian bird, which breeds in eastern Russia, is known to prefer China and Japan as its winter habitat. In India, it has been seen in the Northeast but not too often.

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Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) to train Metiabruz boys.

January 13, 2012

Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd, a Government of India undertaking, has decided to bring a change in the lives of the youth around Metiabruz with the help of Bengal Engineering and Science University(Besu). The young boys, most of whom are Class VIII dropouts, are being given a chance to take technical training from Besu.

The company had tied up with Besu’s School of Community Science and Technology (SOCSAT) to complete this CSR project. “GRSE has approached us to take up a vocation al skill development programme among the local boys of Metiabruz,” said N R.Baadopadhyay, the director of SOCSAT. Besu-will be training the youth in carpentry, electrical, plumb ing, automobile, masonry; media and entertainment, AC repairing and food and beverage.

The Telegraph, Howrah

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23rd Howrah Boi Mela

January 13, 2012

The 23rd Howrah Boi Mela has drawn several cultural organisations and government departments in its fold this year. There are stalls by Indian Museum, District Rural Development Cell and the state environment department with several high profile ministers attending the inauguration like the minister for shipping, Mukul Roy and state agricultural marketing minister, Arup Roy. Besides, there were Howrah DM Sanghamitra Ghosh, mayor Mamta Jaiswal, Sanskrit scholar Murari Mohan Vedantaditirtha, national teachers Subhra Chakraborty and Shipra Thakur among others who attended.

The 23rd book fair with its 53 stalls is a dedication to SwamiVivekananda on his 150th birth anniversary His birthday, January 12, was observed as Youth Day at themela and a discussion was held in the afternoon on the relevance of Swamiji in present times. The Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) presented a colourful regional dance programme on the first day.

The Telegraph, Howrah

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Shibpur family preserves Swamiji’s relics

Jan 9, 2012

Even before he created Belur Math, the headquarter of the internationally famous Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Vivekananda founded a temple dedicated to Ramakrishna Paramhansa, in a centuries-old house at Howrah’s Shibpur. The house was frequented by Sarada Ma and its owner Nabagopal Ghosh was one of the closest non-monastic disciples of Sri Ramkrishna.

After Paramhansa’s death, Nabagopal Ghosh requested his ‘gurubhai’ to set up this temple in his house, to which Swamiji readily agreed. Those days, Vivekananda and 15 other monks of the newly-formed RKM, used to reside at a math (monastery) at Baranagar. It is but natural for this house, which has a large number of Swamiji’s memorabilia, to commemorate Swamiji’s 150th birth anniversary on January 12 in a special way. Swamiji returned from Chicago in 1897 and it was on February 6, 1898 that he founded the temple at Nabagopal’s house. While in Berlin, Swamiji got three porcelain etchings of his guru done and the first of these he set up as the reigning deity of this temple. Needless to say that the second one is in Belur Math, away from public view, and the third at the RKM’s Dhaka math.

At the time of founding of the temple, when monks asked Swamiji the mantra for worship, he instantly coined ‘Om Sthapakayacha Dharmasya Sarvadharma Swarupine….Avatar Barishthaya Ramakrishnay Namah’ which later became the prayer of the entire RKM order.

Swamiji later offered the silk pagdi that he wore during the Chicago address and a crystal statue of himself, gifted by Sister Nivedita and made by Lalique, the famous French crystal artifact maker, to Nabagopal and his wife, Nistarini Devi, as his “most precious” possessions.

Curiously, there was no trace of the Lalique crystal for long. Senior monks of the RKM order, who are close to the Ghosh family, often asked them to search for it. “Recently, while rummaging through the unopened wooden chests in the house, I found it neatly wrapped and kept with other objects of worship. We were thrilled. We have informed the RKM also about it,” said S Ghosh, present scion of the Ghosh family, who is also a faculty member of Presidency University.

On Sunday afternoon, as one walked into this house that is steeped in memories of Swamiji, one could smell the strong herbs and insect repellants that have just been sprayed to preserve these and other objects that Swamiji and Sarada Ma used during their stay in this house.

“We have to be extremely careful with these priceless memorabilia. There’s always a danger of losing them to damp, insects and attack from other micro organisms. They are maintained by experts,” Ghosh said.

There’s a room beside the temple, atop the house, where Swamiji lived during his visits to the house. The bed on which he slept, the harmonium that he used while singing, the ground floor room in which the piano and the organ are kept, have all been treated as the house expects a large number of visitors on January 12.The Swami Vivekananda Janmotsav Udjapan Committee, has also kept the house as part of its celebration circuit.

Swami Purnabrahmananda, a senior monk of the RKM order corroborated the importance of the temple at Shibpur’s Ghosh family. “Swami Vivekananda reached the nearest ferry ghat on boat carrying the image of Paramhansa Ramkrishna. All the monks were with him. From the ghat they sang devotional songs and walked in a procession to the house of Nabagopal Ghosh. He founded the temple and also composed our prayer song sitting in the temple. The house is of great historical and spiritual importance,” he said.

(Times of India, Kolkata)

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FESTIVE EVENING AT SARAT SADAN

June 27, 2011

Santwana Smarak Samity celebrated their 8th annual fest at Sarat Sadan in the 1st week of june. About seventy children performed their songs, dance , recitation and a drama. Mohua Das organized a group dance ‘Tagbag Tagbag’ with a group of children wearing red clothes. The drama ‘ Pariksha Pass Baba’ directed by Sri Moloy Roy was highly appreciated by the audience. The theme was to present the ill effects of yanki culture prevalent in the society. Ishita Chondar, Pratik Hazra, Sangita Biswas, Avisek Golui, Sanchita Chakraborty played well in their characters.

At the end of the programme Kathakali Basu presented a dance drama of Tagore ‘Kalmrigaya’ with her troop. The presentation was a unique one.

Sukanta Mukherjee

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Minister visits green zone

May 25, 2011

State Environment minister Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar paid a surprise visit to Dumurjala on Tuesday morning to check the condition of the green buffer zone around Howrah town.

Howrah Central MLA Arup Ray, who is also the Agricultural Marketing minister, and additional chief secretary (environment) K.S. Rajendra Kumar accompanied Ghosh Dastidar in his visit to the green belt, which has lots of trees, water bodies and playgrounds.

When asked about the purpose of the visit, the environment minister said: “Morning walkers have said that garbage is being dumped in the area and that it needs to be spruced up. The area can be declared a plastic-free zone. I requested the district magistrate to take the steps necessary to keep Dumurjala clean.”

He also asked the district magistrate, Sanghamitra Ghosh, to meet him at Writers’ Buildings on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

The environment minister had informed Ghosh about the visit on Monday. On Tuesday, he reached Dumurjala around 9.30am and spent nearly an hour there. The group went round the area and saw garbage and carcasses of dogs and cats dumped at several places, ponds covered in hyacinth and plastic packets lying around. Plastic utensils used by officials during the counting of Assembly election votes at Dumurjala stadium were stacked near its main gate.

Ashish Sarkar, a morning walker from Kadamtala, said: “The authorities do not clear the garbage. The stench makes it very difficult for us to visit the area.”

The Telegraph

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Homage to Premik Maharaj

April 16, 2011

Andul Kali Kiran Samity organised the 167th birth an anniversay of their founder Premik Maharaj on April 10 at his residence in Andul, Dakshinpara.

Premik Maharaj was known for his Kali Kirtans and Shyamasangeet. He founded the Andul Kali Kirtan Samity when he was 33 and was often invited to religious gatherings at Belur Math, with his group to perform devotional songs. Through the day local artistes performed devotional songs at the programme. Baul songs were performed by members of Bhajan Bairgya from Birbhum. While locals attended the religious gathering through the day, many came specially to listen to the orchestra by students of Narendrapur Blind Boy’s Academy. The instrumental recital included sarod, khol, tabla, harmonium, percussion, pakhwaj, violin and flute.

In the evening, the members of the samity performed well-known Kali kirtans composed by their founder. The day’s programme ended with a religious disussion where Swami Kripakarananda of Belur Math, Somenath Bhatacharya, professor of Jadavpur University and Pranabanada Banerjee, a local academic took Part.

The Telegraph

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