Indian Literary & Art Society Celebrates Australia-Wide Hindi Diwas

Sydney Consul General Mr.Manish Gupta

Indian Literary & Art Society of Australia (ILASA Inc.) organized various literary programs to celebrate InternationalHindi Diwas (14 September) and mark society’s 10th Anniversary this year.

ILASA organized two major virtual events – The first event was International Kavi Sammelan on 4th September 2021, co-hosted by the Consulate General of India, Melbourne as a part of India’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration. The event was supported by Vaishvik Hindi Parivar, India, Sahitya Sandhya Melboune, and Bharat Darshan New Zealand. 

ILASA’s founder, poet and writer, Rekha Rajvanshi welcomed all. Subhash Sharma, a senior poet from Melbourne, co-hosted the program. He first invited Mr Raj Kumar, Consul General of India to speak, who spoke about the importance of Hindi and welcomed international poets. Chancellor and owner of AISECT Group of Universities Mr Santosh Choubey, one of the patrons of ILASA presided the function.

Dignitaries and poets who were the part of the program were Anil Joshi, Upadhyaksh Kendriya Hindi Sansthan Agra; Anand Vardhan Sharma,Visiting Professor, Sofia University, Bulgaria; renowned poets Pushpita Awasthi, Netherland;  Jai Verma UK;  Abhishek Tripathi, Ireland;  Rohit Kumar Happy, New Zealand and Shardula Nogaja, Singapore. Dr Sandeep Marwah, Chancellor of Academy of Arts and owner of Marwah Studios, another Patron of ILASA was one of the chief guests of the program. Kavi Sammelan was enjoyed by all poetry lovers.

In the second part of the program ILASA’s digital magazine ”˜Sahitya Australia’ was launched and the final section was honouring  people who devoted their lives to Hindi and literature in Australia. Senior poets and Hindi activists Prem Mathur from Perth, Subhash Sharma and Harihar Jha from Melbourne, Manju Jehu from Brisbane, Vijay Kumar Singh from Sydney were given Lifetime Achievement Awards for their voluntary services to Hindi. Four young talented poets Sarbjeet Sohi, Brisbane; Mrinal Sharma, Sydney; Sandhya Nayar, Melbourne and Kavita Arora, Perth were also recognised for their literary work.

ILASA’s third program was a national level storytelling, skits and short film competition held on Zoom on September 11, 2021. It was supported by Hindi Samaj Perth, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan Australia, IPSAA Brisbane, Sahitya Sandhya Melbourne and Vaishvik Hindi Parivar, India.  Rekha Rajvanshi welcomed all and Mr Manish Gupta – Consul General of India, Sydney,  addressed Hindi lovers. He spoke about how learning languages especially Hindi is relevant in these days. Mrs Nimeesha Gupta was invited to recite a poem after that.

Consul Genral’s wife Nimeesha Gupta

Five short film were entered in the competition and 18 contestants gave live performances. All three judges were renowned in their perspective fields. Shri Laxmi Shankar Bajpai, a well-known poet and retired Deputy Director All India Radio Delhi, Sydney’s theatre producer and actor Saba Zaidi Abdi, and renowned playwright and drama director Gauri Gupta Srivastava from Singapore formed the Jury team.

Winning entries were – short film was ”˜Amma’ by Tri Avatar Productions from Melbourne, recorded skit ”“ Kanpuriya Interview by Sanjay Khanna, Perth, monologue by Suryashree  Puntambekar Sydney and storytelling ”“ Taufeeq Ahmed Shiekh Sydney.

Second Prize winners were:  short film was from Bhram by Pankaj Upadhyay, recorded skit ”˜Sadiyon ki Gupshup’ by Anu Shivram, Monologue by  Nisar Sirguroh and storytelling by Sandhya Nair Melbourne.

Pradeep Upadhyay and Sonu Sarda were the MCs of the program. ILASA founder Rekha Rajvanshi said, “The idea of having this event was welcomed by theatre artists, story writers and short film makers of Australia. Total twenty-three entries were accepted nationwide. We received entries from children too, but we couldn’t include them. We will have a separate event for them. ILASA continues to grow and organise these events in the future too to include people of all ages”.

First prize winners got a cash prize of $100.00 each and certificates are given to all the participants and winners. Prize money was sponsored by Hindi lovers of Australia.

ILASA is playing a major role in promoting languages, literature, art and culture in Australia. In the past ten years ILASA has organized about 65 literary and art events, some of the major ones are – National Hindi Conference at the University of Sydney,   Youth Poetry Competition at the NSW Parliament House, Poetry Slam with Word Travels at Parramasala, Hindi Diwas at the Consulate General of India, ”˜Meet the Author’ and Kavi Sammelans. ILASA has also supported many other events and raised funds for charity. ILASA published an anthology of 40 Hindi Australian poets in 2019, and organised Vishwa Rang Tagore International Literature and Arts Festival, Australia. Many budding writers are inspired to write and get their books published.

No doubt, ILASA is playing an important role in building global literary and art bridges and promoting Hindi in Australia from its platform.

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