Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

An unpleasant event

Governor M K Narayanan, Vidya Balan, Alka Bangur and others
Mid last week I felicitated Vidya Balan, the winner of Prabha Khaitan Puraskar 2012, with a shawl designed by Sharbari Dutta especially for the occasion. Sharbari di, Kolkata’s leading fashion designer, excels in designing traditional dresses.
Vidya Balan came down to Kolkata to receive the Puraskar at a function organized by the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce Foundation at The Park.
Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, Shri M K Narayanan, who gave the award to Vidya Balan, said in his inaugural speech, “I feel doubly privileged to felicitate Vidya Balan, who is from the same town in Kerala to which I belong. I am glad that Prabha Khaitan Foundation has put in place an endowment that supports women’s initiatives across a broad spectrum and also rewards women achievers.”
In a lighter mood, the Governor also said, “I usually don't watch films, but I saw the film Kahaani twice. For all my years of service at the helm of Intelligence Bureau (IB), Vidya made me out to be a terrorist in her film.”
The Prabha Khaitan Puraskar is given to a woman achiever for her outstanding contribution to the society and for furthering the cause of women in India. Vidya Balan, the youngest recipient of the award so far, was chosen for the Puraskar by an eminent panel of judges for her contribution to the cause of women and the girl child.
Vidya is a closet philanthropist helping thousands of underprivileged girls each year with her charity work.
Representatives of TV and Print media at the event
From a general or public point of view the event was a grand success. Some of my friends called up and complimented me for the event. I also get few such SMSs. But to be honest and fair, I am personally not at all happy with the manner in which the program was conducted at the venue. 
There was a lot of avoidable chaos caused by the media as no proper arrangement or encloser was available for them. The security arrangements for the guest and celebrity were also not up to the mark. There was at one point a stampede-like situation at the event.
I had very categorically informed and requested in advance the main organisers of the function to ensure adequate security given the celebrity status of Vidya Balan and the presence of West Bengal Governor and the first lady of the state. I was assured that top police authorities were informed and there was no need for concern. I was told that as far as security is concerned, personnel would be deputed on both side of the dais. I was surprised that not even a single security personnel were there in the whole venue by the organisers. Thanks to the Governor’s personal security who managed the situation.
The award function turned out to be one of the most disorganized and chaotic functions that I have ever associated with. There was lack of decorum and the management of the event was poor. What was despicable was the fact that some of the hosts competed and jostled to get their pictures clicked with Vidya Balan and even went to the extent of getting their relatives and commercial products clicked with the hapless actress. Their thoughtless and shameless behaviour added to the chaos caused endless embarrassment to me and others.
Vidya Balan thronged by the members of the organisation
Thanks to The Park banquet team personnel who arranged for a timely backdoor exit for Miss Balan through the kitchen.
This kind of behaviour from members of an organisation representative of the city’s industrialists and elite business community is unthinkable and deplorable. Though I was not a part of the organising team, I felt I owed an apology to Vidya and the Governor Shri M K Narayanan and the first lady Mrs Padmini Narayanan.
ess bee

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