Anwesha Kolkata celebrated its 14th annual awareness programme "Anweshan 2019” during the International Week of the Deaf (IWD) which is celebrated annually the last full week of September (Monday through Sunday) and ends with International Day of the Deaf on the last Sunday of September. The purpose of IWD is to increase public awareness on deaf issues, people and culture. Activities and events throughout Deaf Awareness Week encourage individuals to come together as a community for both awareness events and celebrations.
The annual awareness programme was celebrated through two events on September 24 and 27, 2019.
Community awareness Programme:
Anwesha Kolkata and Pratidhwani WB organised an awareness programme on Deafness at the Victoria Statue, Main Museum Building in collaboration with the Indian Museum on 24th September 2019 supported by Commissioner Disabilities, WB. The programme commenced with the welcome speech by Ms. Anindita Chakroborty, member, Anwesha Kolkata along with dance by little kids with deafness at 10.00 A.M sharp. Mr. Piyush Saha, District Project Officer, ICDS, and Dr. Sayan Bhattacharya, Education Officer, Indian Museum joined us as Special Guests. They along with Ms. Snigdha Sarkar, President, Anwesha Kolkata and the children lighted the auspicious lamp and inaugurated the programme. Our children cordially greeted the guests with flower bouquets and gifts.
The guests spoke beautifully; Mr. Saha highlighted the importance of paying attention to children in many aspects including their nutrition, opportunities for play, socialisation and others. Dr. Bhattacharya encouraged the initiative of the organisation and assured future support to our endeavours. Ms. Sarkar made a presentation on Anwesha and its activities and its beliefs.
Disha Chakraborty and Soutrik Ray- two of our young children performed recitation. Then the children put up an excellent show by presenting a skit on “Guptadhoner Sandhane (In search of treasure)”. It revealed the message to treat our natural resources as treasures and conserve the same by all means for our future generation. Under the guidance of Mr. Abhijit Ghosh- a life skill trainer, the children did their part very well and got instant praise from the audiences.
Two parents of deaf children were requested to share their experience with audiences. The audiences were mesmerized to see the splendid performance of BONDHU members. Mr. Souradip Chakraborty alias Remo demonstrated his unique painting skills. Anudeep Saha, Kaushani Ghatak and Achyut Mukherjee- Three young adults beautifully portrayed the issue of respect for women in our society. They added humour to the message, making the play very entertaining and meaningful at the same time. The finishing moment of their play involving the entire audience was really praiseworthy.
Around 150 people actively participated in the programme and encouraged us to present a good show.
Nakshatra Samman & Panel Discussion:
The programme was held on 27th September 2019 at Turiyananda Hall, Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata with support from Commissioner Disabilities, Govt. of West Bengal and Indian Oil. Through panel discussion, award ceremony and leaflet distribution to the audiences the campaign issues of IWD 2019 were addressed. Around 135 people actively participated in the programme and encouraged us to present a good show.
The programme commenced with the welcome speech by Ms. Anindita Chakroborty, member Anwesha Kolkata. Sri Debabrata Chattaraj, IAS, Commissioner Disabilities, Govt. of West Bengal, Sri Gautam Chaudhuri, ,Sri Dilip Ghosh, Sri Supriya Kumar, Expert in Disability field, Smt. Supriya Sengupta, Ex NIHH and Ms. Snigdha Sarkar, President, Anwesha Kolkata, paid floral tribute to late Swami Turiyananda and inaugurated the programme. Our children cordially greeted the guests with flower bouquets and gifts.
A film on Anwesha Kolkata’s activity was shown before the audiences. Sri. Debabrata Chattaraj special guest was requested to deliver his speech. Ms. Kaushani Ghatak (Academic excellence in M.Sc Human Development 2019), Mr. Anudeep Saha (Academic Excellence in BCA) and Mr. Souradip Chakraborty (Completion of Diploma in Painting with distinction) – all of them were called upon and felicitated on stage by Sri Debabrata Chattaraj, IAS.
At the next part of the programme, three deaf young achievers were conferred "Nakshatra Samman". The awardees were
· Mr. Babu Kundu ( Academics)
· Ms. Anurupa Ghosh (Livelihood) and
· Mr. Antik Kumar Dewanji (Creative Performance- Dance).
They were all given a uttoriya, flower bouquet, citation and a silver memento each. After the award ceremony, a souvenir was released in the presence of Swami Sampurnanda ji, Secretary, RMIC, Golpark. Ms. Snigdha Sarkar thanked him profusely for his kind gesture by making the hall available to Anwesha Kolkata free of costs for the programme.
A panel discussion on "Mental Well-being of Persons with Deafness and Their Families” was conducted. Resource persons from the field of Psychology and Psychiatry and Experts on Deafness were part of the panel.
The panel members were:
· Mr. Supriya Kumar, Expert on Deafness
· Dr. Satyajit Ash, Psychiatrist
· Ms. Nandini Sen, Psychologist, PKK
· Dr. Ayanangshu Nayak, Psychiatrist
· Ms. Ishita Das, Audiologist, PKK
· Ms. Snigdha Sarkar, President, Anwesha Kolkata was part of panel and she also moderated the programme.
The session was quite insightful & interesting. Around 135 people, mostly parents and young adults actively participated in the programme and contributed to the discussion. Many important issues were discussed and everyone present felt that this discussion should continue and not be limited to one only. It was also decided at the end of the discussion that a guideline for parents and young adults would be formulated and shared for practice.
We thank Ms. Subha Sarkar Lahiri for sign language interpretation and Mr. Asgar Ali for close captioning throughout the session.
Last but not the least, Mr. Aloke Kumar Saha, Treasurer, Anwesha Kolkata offered vote of thanks and acknowledged the contribution of all in making the programme a success.