Gallery on the hillside
Renowned artist Prabal Pramanik recently opened an art gallery in the remote village of Bhamlada, located about 40 km from Pathankot in the picturesque Shivalik hills. The opening of the gallery marked the start of a 10-day cultural festival, which drew artists from all over the country.
“I had a dream of taking my art to rural India. There are lots of art galleries in metros and other big cities of the country, but hardly any in the villages. This deprives the villagers of a chance to appreciate art,” says the artist.
“I had planned this gallery ever since I bought land in Bhamlada and settled there in 1983. For years, I lived in a tent without any power and drinking water, slowly building a house and this art gallery. Being a Bengali, it was tough understanding the local dialect too. Despite these odds, I took my exhibitions to the UK, France and many places in India,” he adds.
“My aim is to bring Bhamlada village on the global art map by running the art academy here,” he says. “The simple life and culture of this hill village have influenced my art and I have dedicated a series to Bhamlada,” he adds.
His works on display include pastels, mixed media, drawings and paper cuttings, a portfolio of serigraphs on Bhamlada and an illustrated book of his poetry.
The works of other artists like Dr Bahadur Chand Khanna (Dharamsala) and Anup Chandra too were exhibited. The festival also featured a live demonstration of the art of paper cutting by Pramanik.
The museum in the academy displays rare photographs, including original bromide prints of the pictures of Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Lal Bahadur Shastri and others.
Saurabh Singh, Superintendent of Police, Fatehabad, is among the 16 Indian police officers who attended a recent UN course on anti-riot, anti-terrorist and anti-hijack training in Italy. The course also covered issues like international human rights, tackling the problem of minefields and the latest techniques and trends in crimes.
The Government of Italy conducted the programme, named the 3rd Middle Management Level Course, with the help of the UN and G-8 nations. Saurabh Singh was the only officer to be nominated from Haryana. Police officers from Jordan, Italy, Cameron, Senegal and Kenya also participated.
The SP says the officers from India fared better than the others in a test conducted by the UN on the completion of the course. The course not only imparted training in specialised areas but also new skills for day-to-day policing, he adds.
Game for the challenge
Last week, Nabha town witnessed a sports tournament with a difference for the first time in its history of 250 years.
The event was the 9th Punjab State Special Olympics for mentally challenged children. Held at Punjab Public School, it had 250 children participating from 20 special schools, whose names were a pointer to their mission — Jiwan Jyoti, Muskan, Prayas, Ashakiran, Koshish, Umang and so on.
The Nabha Foundation had sponsored the event, hosted by the Special Olympic Association, Nabha. The SDM Nabha, Ashok Sikka, declared the meet open by hoisting the Olympic flag and installing the Olympic torch. Events like races, long jump, softball throw and shortput had these children displaying enormous energy and verve.
The children presented an impressive parade and took the oath: “Let me win. If I cannot, let me be brave.”
At an age when many of her peers are still not decided about their future careers, Deepanjali Khurana, a Class IX student of St Kabir’s School, Hisar, has very clearly defined goals in life. And those include working for the conservation of the environment and becoming a biotechnologist.
Her determination can be gauged from the concerted efforts she is making to excel in her chosen field. Deepanjali recently topped in a national-level Green Olympiad organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Central Schools Organsiation.
She bagged the first place in the North India zone of the contest, sponsored by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.
She earlier received the Jim Corbett Certificate at an All-India Environment Awareness Contest and has been selected for the prestigious Terra Quiz.
Apart from having a strong grasp of environmental issues, Deepanjali is a gifted artist and brilliant student. She has won the Best Child Artist Award at a rangoli competition organised by the Centre for Indian Art Resources and Training.
Her creations won awards at the Sixth SAARC Youth Festival organised at City Montessori School, Lucknow.
She also ranked second at the division level in an All-India Collage Competition organised by the Department of Posts. She has always been a topper in school.
Deepanjali’s father, Dr Sandip Khurana, a senior scientist at the National Research Centre on Equines, and her mother, Sunita Khurana, a lecturer in history at the Government College for Women, Hisar, are proud of their daughter’s achievements.
—Contributed by Lalit Mohan, Sushil Manav, Rajnish Sharma and Sunit Dhawan