The first daylong event dedicated to Purvanchal, the eastern region of India, was hosted at the India Gandhi National Centre for Arts in New Delhi. The festival titled ‘Maati’ (Soil) highlighted the rich cultural, culinary and literary heritage of the region of Purvanchal, which spans eastern Uttar Pradesh, west Bihar, parts of Madhya Pradesh in the south, stretching into southern Nepal. Organised by the cultural and educational society IDEA Communications (Indian Developmental & Educational Associates’ Communications), the celebrations brought alive the social and cultural flavors through dialogues and panel discussions, plays, folk music, poetry reading et al.
Purvanchal lies in the richest part of the famous Gangetic plain that is part of the lore and history of ancient India. It was the crucible of the birth of Budhism and a religious hub for Hindus and Jainis. The holy city of Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh etc are all in the Purvanchal region. The event brought into focus the four popular dialects spoken here, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, also Baghelkhandi and modern Hindi, or Khadi Boli, and Urdu, through panel discussions, dialogues, poetry reading sessions, plays, folk music concert.
Senior IRS officer Sangeeta Gupta’s newly published poetry collection “Be-ParwahRooh” (both in Hindi & Urdu) was also released this evening by poet and MP Majeed Memon and IGNCA’s president Ram Bahadur Rai. She is also a renowned painter, and designed the logo of ‘Maati’ to represent the Purvanchal region.
Five esteemed Purvanchalis felicitated and awarded the “Maati Samman”, were former IPS Praksh Singh, Secretary General of Rajya Sabha Desh Deepak Verman, Writer Vishwanath Tripathi, Arjuna Awardee Women Basketball champion Prashanti Singh and entrepreneur Gyan Prakash Singh. Other luminaries who attended the event were MP Tariq Anwar, IPS Dharmendra Kumar and Ajay Choudhry, IFS Dharmendra Prakash, Cardiologists Dr Praveen Chandra and Dr DK Satsangi, IRS VK Barnwal and Neena Kumar, Jindal Steel’s Director-HR Rajeev Bhadoria and Habson’s Asif Heabeel, VC Ml Azad University Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, Prof. Mohd Shahid Hussain and senior officer like Gajanand Prasad, RK Rai, journalist Qamar Waheed Naqvi.