“WOMEN OCCUPY a prominent place in society and the well-being and progress of any society revolve around them,” said Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab’s Minister for Cultural Affairs and Tourism, while inaugurating the three-day 17th All India Poetess Conference (AIPC) at the Punjab Arts Council here on Thursday.
Over 350 poets from across the country and 14 from abroad are taking part in the conference with well-known poets like Dr Stream Lete from Shillong, Pooja Gupta from Nepal, Gurinder Gill from Malaysia, Veena Budki from Kashmir and Dr Supriya P and Dr C Radhamani both from Kerala, Sunita Murti from Karnataka, Rana Meer from Dubai and Surjeet Kalki from Canada are looking forward to share their work and experiences here.
Simrat Sumera, convener of the conference, while introducing the participants, also talked about the many dimensions of AIPC. Describing the present occasion as special, Sidhu added that such events act as a unifying force with people from diverse backgrounds coming together on a common platform and, in the process, sharing culture, traditions, art, literature, customs and history of other states, strengthening the ideology of unity in diversity. Elaborating the steps being taken to give a fillip to art, literary and cultural activities, Sidhu announced the approval of a Rs 2.01-crore grant to the Punjab Kala Parishad and Rs 33 lakh each to the Punjab Sahitya Akademi, Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi, all functioning under the Punjab Kala Parishad.
Surjit Patar, Chairperson of the Punjab Kala Parishad, said lingual harmony was the need of the hour as it is a perfect way to achieve synchronisation among the vastly different cultures existing in the country. He also reiterated that the Punjab Kala Parishad would leave no stone unturned to ignite the fire of renewed awareness about Punjab’s culture and historical heritage at the grassroots level.
“Apart from Punjabi, poets of languages such as Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Urdu, Hindi, Kashmiri are part of the conference, which is a great platform for the people of India to share literature, culture and culture of Punjab,” said AIPC founder Dr Lari Azad.
On Thursday, the first day of the conference, sessions on Multilingual Kavya Dhara, Parvasi Punjabi Kavita and South Indian Kavya Dhara were held. As many as 20 books were released here, including Journal of Humanities and Social Science and international magazine Kaljayee of the AIPC. Day One concluded with a cultural programme.