Pune festival will enter its 28th year this year and will be marked with the usual festivities with the inaugural function to be held on September 9 attended by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, former union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, actress Sharmila Tagore, chairman Bajaj group Rahul Bajaj and Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat. The function will be held at Ganesh Kala Krida auditorium.
Pune Festival is organised by Pune Festival Committee, residents, tourism department and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
Addressing a press conference, Suresh Kalmadi, founder president of Pune festival, said this year’s lifetime achievement award will go to Sharmila Tagore while Marathi poetess Dr Aruna Dhere and senior heart surgeon Dr Ranjit Jagtap will be conferred with ‘Pune Festival Award’ at inaugural function.
He said that pre-inaugural events will kick off from September 6 while the ten-day event will see cultural and sports activities till September 15. The idol installation will take place on Monday at 10 am and will be attended by actors Bhargavi Chirmule and Anuja Sathe.
Mayor Prashant Jagtap, deputy mayor Mukari Algude and former minister Harshwardhan Patil, Dr KH Govindaraj,
managing director, MTDC, are guests of honour for the ceremony along with Bollywood stars Sanjay Khan, Shekhar Suman, Suraj Pancholi, Neha Pendse, Pooja Hegde and Mallika Sherawat.
Danseuse Arundhati Patwardhan, Tejaswini Sathe and Prachiti Dange will perform ‘Ganesh Vandana’ followed by a programme to mark the 100th year of the famous ‘Swaraj’ slogan of Lokmanya Tilak and a song will also be dedicated to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Artist Tukaram Daithankar will render a shahnai recital at the programme.
The cultural events would include a lavani performance by artists Varsha Usgaonkar, Bhargavee Chirmule, Anuja Sathe, Tejaswini Lonari, Girija Joshi, Sushant Shelar and choreographed by Nikita Moghe, while ‘Festivals of Maharashtra’ will be presented by Marathi actor Aniket Vishwasrao, Abhijit Kelkar, Smita Shevale, Titiksha Tawade and choreographed by Santosh Sankhad.
‘All India Urdu Mushaira’, Miss Pune Festival competition, ‘Tee Fularani’, a Marathi drama by Dr Girish Oak and Hemangi Kavi, ‘Hasyotsav ‘, by stand up comedians, ‘Voice of Pune Festival’ competition, Kathak-Odyssey-Carnatak classical performances, ‘Bollywood Hunagama’ sports events like wrestling, golf, and roll ball are added attractions this year. The festival will also see Marathi Kavi Sammelan compered by Ramdas Phutane while recipes and painting competition and photo exhibition on wrestling will be organised.
‘Shiv Om’, a Kathak ballet by Yasmin Sing of Raipur, ‘Ganesh Sharanam’, a Carnatak Classical Music performance by Nandini Rao, Gujar, will be held on September 10 while ‘Moods and Melodies’, a Jugalbandi by Dhananjay Daithankar (Santoor), Rajendra Kulkarni (Flute ) and Ramdas Palsule (Tabla ) will be held.
These programme will be held at Ganesh Kala Krida Kendra Auditorium, Balgandharva Rangmandir and Yashwantrao Chavan Auditorium while sports events are organized at Mamasaheb Mohol Kusti Sankul, Katraj, Oxford Golf and Country Club, Bavdhan, Mahesh Vidyalay, Kothrud.