The vagaries of long unending displacement has landed the Kashmiri Pandit community in peril, with depleting place consciousness and loss of connect with moorings this community is gradually passing into obliteration.
The grave challenge which this displaced community faces today, lies in the threat of losing its cultural and traditional anchors which makes this community a unique ethnic race. With two generations being born out of Kashmir during past 30 years of displacement, all the aspects and attributes of mores which includes art, music, language, attire, rituals have not only degraded but fast depleting.
In the light of this sordid state of existence and the challenge the displacement of last 30 years has posted at the larger canvass of this community, few individuals and social-cultural organizations are working incessantly to defy all odds at hand to reverse the telling impact. One such organization in Jammu, Athrot Charitable and Socio-cultural Society has taken the onus of initiating the progeny of the KP community back to the anchors and mores which makes this community a unique ethnic race. This organization has been actively conducting a ‘talent hunt’ show for last 3 years by the name ‘Koshir Kalaakar’ across the country offering platform to hundreds of community children showcase their talent in various ethnic art forms, especially singing in Kashmiri language and theater.
‘Kashir Kalakaar’ Season 3, Grand Finale was held on 10 November at Abhinav Theatre, Jammu in which 20 children competed in grand finale. The event was judged by iconic faces Kailash Mehra, Sunaina Koul, Dr Kuldeep Raina.
The event started with traditional lighting of lamp which was immediately followed by a two minute silence as a mark of respect and homage to Dilip Langer a renowed socio-cultural activist of the community who passed away few days back.
It was followed by welcome address by Kanwal Peshin renowned actor, writer and social activist who appraised the audience about the theme and necessity of organizing this event for last 3 years. He also appraised the audience regarding the entire process of talent hunt competition ‘Kashir Kalaakar’ and how these 20 children arrived in current seasons grand finale, terming them as the cream of the vast talent pool present in the community children, he said that he is very hopeful that one day, ‘Kashir Kalaakar’ will realize its potential of reconnecting the progeny to roots.
A special guest performances was presented by children from NCR, Himanshi Raina, Vansh Pandita and Vanshika Bhat through their melodious voices receiving appreciations and applauds from audiences.The contestants in junior group age 5 to 9 and seniors from 10 to 14yrs enthralled the audiences, Daksh Bhat, Anjali Pandita, Suhas koul, Nirmit Raina, Chhavi Koul, Shriya bhat, Lavanya Koul, Punya koul, Abhay dhar, Himanshu Pandita, Shireen Bhat, Shruti Raina, Argh Raina, Paviter Koul, Riya Raina, Bhoomi Kher, Krishna Bhat secured places in top 20.
The first, second and third prize went to Daksh bhat & Chhavi Koul jointly, Lavanya Koul, Suhas Koul who were also presented with momentos, Neelmat Puran, Sharda Swaroopa and picture Martand besides a cash reward of Rs 3100, 2100 and 1100 respectively.
Speaking on the occasion eminent socio-political activist and social media voice of the community Sushil Pandit who was the chief guest on occasion said that such activities are not ordinary events, they get recorded in history as mark of resilience and struggle. Events like Kashir Kalaakar go a long way in determining the determined effort of the community to survive with dignity and honor upholding the civilizational moorings and anchors which make us a unique race in world. Appreciating the efforts of social activists Kanwal Peshin, Pradeep Pandita and the whole team of Athrot, Sushil Pandit thanked them for holding the baton of socio-cultural empowerment of the community.
Sh Girdhari Lal Raina (MLC) presided over the function, and Ravi Bhan, President, Prem Sangeet Niketan were guest of honor. Vote of thanks was presented by Arvin Tickoo. Many prominent social activists, artists, and journalists were awarded on the occasion
Pt Prem Nath Shastri Memorial award was conferred upon Dr Susheel Wattal, Gaurav Samaan was conferred upon Harmukh Gangbal Trust led by Vinod Pandit and Anil bhat for organizing 10th Gangbal yatra in 2018, Pt Dina Nath Muju memorial award was conferred upon Manoj Jad, Sharda Samaan was conferred upon Ravinder Pandita of Save Sharda Committee, Pt Jagan Nath Shivpuri memorial award was conferred upon Dr Kuldeep Raina Swedeshi, Pt Kshemender Raina memorial award was conferred upon Meenal Peer Actress of Bhoorang foundation, Pt Moti Lal Saqi award was conferred upon Sunita Raina poet, Pt Sarwanand Koul Premi memorial award was conferred upon Er. Vinod Kumar, Pt Amar Nath Vaishnavi memorial award was conferred upon Sharika foundation led by Sunil k Thusu and Sanjay Dhar, Pt Tika Lal Taploo memorial award was conferred upon Virender Kuchroo, Pt Omkar Nath Raina memorial award was conferred upon Vanshika bhat Singer/Instrumentalist from Gaziabad, Pt Vijay Malla(Sur Samarat) memorial award was conferred upon Vansh Pandita Singer from Delhi, Pt Sham Koul Memorial award was conferred upon MK Bangroo in print media and Rajesh Raina in electronic media. Pt Ram joo Tikoo memorial award in sports was conferred upon Sarthak Peshin and Pt Makhan Lal sadhu memorial award was conferred upon Ishu Bharati Pandit of Vomedh Theatre group for acting, Kusheen bhat and Kusum Tikoo were felicitated for anchoring. Prominent actor Mahraj Krishan Jotshi (captain) was felicitated along with Kamal Ganjoo veteran cameraman, Ajay Khosa, journalist and socio political activist, Arvin Tikoo,
Samir Enterprises, SharikaDignostic Labs, Alcobrew, TTF, Voice of Silence were also felicitated for supporting the event with momentos and a special momento initiated by Athrot – traditional KeanzKhos (Metal Cups)
The program was anchored by the melodious voice of versatile actress and anchor Kusum Tickoo enthralling the audience with snippets of poetry and veteran lensman Kamal Ganjoo managed photography.