River Festival 2023: An initiative to establish harmony between Art, Culture & Heritage of the City 

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(L - R): Mr Mudar Patherya, Social activist and writer; Ms Chelsea McGill, Anthropologist, Historian & CEO of Immersive Trails; Mr Sumit Ray, The moderator; Mr Partha Ranjan Das, Conservation Architect, Urban Designer & Member, West Bengal Heritage Commission and Centre for Archaeological Studies and Training (CAST) & Mr Gautam Chakraborti, former Adviser Security, Syamaprasad Mookerjee Port (Kolkata Port) & Hony Heritage Adviser Port at the Panel Discussion of River Festival this year.
(L - R): Mr Mudar Patherya, Social activist and writer; Ms Chelsea McGill, Anthropologist, Historian & CEO of Immersive Trails; Mr Sumit Ray, The moderator; Mr Partha Ranjan Das, Conservation Architect, Urban Designer & Member, West Bengal Heritage Commission and Centre for Archaeological Studies and Training (CAST) & Mr Gautam Chakraborti, former Adviser Security, Syamaprasad Mookerjee Port (Kolkata Port) & Hony Heritage Adviser Port at the Panel Discussion of River Festival this year.
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River Festival 2023: An initiative to establish harmony between Art, Culture & Heritage of the City 

Kolkata, 4th February 2023: A river plays a significant role in the development and progress of a city and Kolkata is not different. It’s the Hooghly River which helps the city grow as a business hub of Eastern India even today. However with urbanisation, the significance of the river for many citizens has diminished. Keeping an eye on it, Kult X, in association with Rotary Club of Calcutta have joined together and organised the River Festival 2023 with an aim to bring the city dweller’s collective attention back to the shared public spaces on the banks and the ghats of the river where different activities could coexist harmoniously.  After successful response and support received last year, Kult X is back with another new series of River Festival. It’s a celebration of Kolkata’s diverse and inclusive culture along the banks of the river Hooghly and spreads awareness on the significance of river rejuvenation.  The evening witnessed a Special Panel Discussion in the esteemed presence of Mr. Gautam Chakraborti, Former Adviser Security,Syamaprasad Mookerjee Port (Kolkata Port) & Hony Heritage Adviser Port,  Mr. Partha Ranjan Das, Architect, Urban Designer and conservation architect. Member, West Bengal Heritage Commission and Centre for Archaeological Studies and Training (CAST), Ms. Chelsea McGill, Linguistic Anthropologist and Public Historian. Co-founder and CEO of Immersive Trails, Mr. Rajkumar Agrawal Rtn, President, Rotary Club of Calcutta, Ms. Laily Thompson, Organizer and Founder, Kult X; and other dignitaries. 

River Festival 2023 highlights the next chapter of preserving Kolkata’s riverbank heritage. This festival will be celebrated on 3rd February, 4th February, 11th February and 18th February 2023.  Proper care and steps are being taken to protect Champatala Ghat which will be followed by cultural events like art, poetry, music, photography, street theatre sessions. 

This year Kult X and Rotary Club of Calcutta have come forward and taken an active role in the revamping and the beautification drive of the Champatala Ghat. A team of young 8 painters led by Sayan Mandol have illustrated the walls with a beautiful Durga Puja theme, this wall will depict the story of making of the idol to the grand immersion of the goddess. KMC has been given the responsibility to maintain the Champatala Ghat. The launch activity was held at Champatala Ghat in gracious presence of Mr. Samrat Rahi, Deputy Chairman of Shyamaprasad Mookherjee Port; Honorary Gianluca Rubagotti, Consul General, Italy, Honorary Didier Talpain, Consul General, Alliance France; Mr. Rajkumar Agrawala Rtn, President Rotary Club of Calcutta, Mrs. Mitali Saha, Counselor Ward No 9; Ms. Laily Thompson Founder of Kult X and other dignitaries. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rajkumar Agrawal Rtn, President, Rotary Club of Calcutta, said, “Protecting against riverbank erosion is challenging. Now is the time to come together and protect our Kolkata’s riverbank heritage and create harmony with the environment. Kult X has taken a very good initiative in protecting the Ghats of Bengal. Rotary Club of Calcutta is supporting this festival by refurbishing the Champatala Ghat but at the end of the day it’s the responsibility of the local dwellers and KMC to maintain it properly. This will lead to the future generation to enjoy the heritage and culture of Bengal as well.” 

Ms Laily Thompson, Founder of Kult X, while addressing the audience said, “The project was a close partnership between Rotary Club of Calcutta, Kult X Arts and Wellness LLP, KMC, Syamaprasad Mukherjee Port and local people who have worked hard to achieve this. Going forward the partnership will continue and we will all ensure that our work will enhance the experience of all those who visit the ghat for any purpose, be it leisure or day to day living. We want residents to visit these incredible places, enjoy the city’s culture and heritage, and in the process transform these ghats into a key place of attraction for the city-dwellers and visitors as well.” 

The inaugural evening of the festival ended with the screening of a well-researched documentary ‘The Dying Ghats of Calcutta’ directed by heritage experts Poulomee Auddy & Atreyee Basak. 

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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