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Bangla Utsav to raise funds for Spastics Society

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, JUNE 25. Strengthening the bonds between West Bengal and Karnataka will be Bangla Utsav, a mega Bengali cultural extravaganza and exhibition of traditional products from both States. The Bangla Utsav will be spread over eight days from Sunday at the RBANMS grounds near Ulsoor Lake. The objective of the event is to raise funds for the Spastics Society of Karnataka.

The utsav will have select products that reflect the crafts traditions of both States and feature cultural programmes by renowned artists. The exhibition area will have over 50 stalls with products ranging from saris to leather items, music albums and books, jute items, paintings and culinary specialities of Bengal.

"We are happy to be associated with Bangla Utsav, and our children are preparing for a half-hour programme called `national integration' featuring songs and dances from various regions," Shobha Menon, Programme Director, Spastics Society of Karnataka, said. "This kind of recognition and exposure will help the integration of children with disabilities into the community and also create awareness about disabilities and their prevention,'' she added. Some of the leading personalities who will participate in Bangla Utsav are: Aparna Sen, film director and editor of the Bengali journal, Sananda; Soumitra Chatterjee, the "eternal hero" of Tollywood and editor of Desh; Sunil Gangopadhyay, novelist and poet; Bhoomi, the ethnic group from Kolkata; Lopamudra Mitra, contemporary Bengali singer; and Shakeel Ansari, the comedy king of Kolkata. Aparna Sen and Soumitra Chatterjee will host a reader's forum for their respective magazines. Mamata Shankar and her ballet troupe will present a light and sound show.

Reliance Infocomm is the principal sponsor. Other sponsors include Himalaya Drug Co., Purvankara Projects and State Bank of India.

"Bangla Utsav has been planned with the aim of facilitating a cultural as well as commercial confluence of Bengal and Karnataka,'' Tapan Dutta of the Bangla Utsav Organising Committee said. "We anticipate over 50,000 visitors as every Bengali event organised in recent years has drawn the Bengali population, close to 1,50,000 in Bangalore, in large numbers.''

The event will be open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.

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