Mumbai: Andheri to get a taste of Basant Panchami celebrations with three-day cultural fest

The festival will not only see participation from school students in the various competitions, but will also feature performances by several celebrities

Over the years, Durga Puja celebrations in Mumbai have become quite grand, but the other Bengali festival Basant Panchami still remains a low-key affair here. However, this could soon change, with a star-studded cultural festival planned in Andheri, to mark Basant Panchami and Saraswati Puja celebrations.

Snehamoy Chatterjee Educational Trust (Charitable) is organising a three-day gala affair, starting with the Saraswati Puja on January 24, followed by several performances by well-known artistes, such as Usha Uthup, Ankit Tiwari, as well as the danseuse Tanusree Shankar who has flown in from Kolkata with her troupe.

“The trust was established in the name of my late father, who was an educationist. We celebrate Saraswati Puja as it is associated with education, learning and fine arts. We have been holding the puja since a few years, but on a smaller scale. This year it is going to be the grandest one so far,” said Anjan Chatterjee, the founder of Speciality Restaurants Group, who conceptualised the event.

Like every year, art and cultural competitions will be organised for school students. “The event will be spread over three days i.e. January 24-26. Earlier, we used to get schools in the locality to hold drawing competitions, the finals of which would be held on the day of Saraswati Puja at the main venue.

This year, we have invited students from other areas as well. We have got a fabulous response so far. We are having drawing, painting, dance, and singing competitions,” said Indranil Chatterjee, an advertising professional associated with the initiative. To give the event the authentic Bengali flavour, the organisers have also arranged for craftsmen from West Bengal to decorate the venue with traditional shola art.

“We hope the entire community joins us on this auspicious occasion. After all, Saraswati Puja is a celebration of education and talent,” said Anjan, adding that the proceeds from the event will be used to fund the education of meritorious students from municipal schools. The fest, presented by mid-day, will be held at the MHADA Grounds near Lotus petrol pump, Lokhandwala, Andheri and is supported by a number of philanthropists, corporates and entrepreneurs.

Event schedule

Day 1: Jan 24
>> Saraswati Puja (10.30 am)
>> Dance performance by Tanusree Shankar and troupe 
>> Live performance by Ash King and Ankit Tiwari

Day 2: Jan 25
>> Competition finals
>> Pancham Nite (Musical performance hosted by Annu Kapoor)

Day 3: Jan 26
>> Performance by Usha Uthup and band

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