Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Monday, August 5, 2013

A hectic weekend

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L to R: Additional CPs of Kolkata Police, D Roy, P K Chatterjee, Soumen Mitra, Sudhir Mishra, Sudip Bandhopadhyay (MP), Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor, Calcutta University and Surajit Kar Purkayastha (Commissioner of Police)
August 5, 2013: The last week-end was very hectic and I was involved in some of these big events in the city from the early morning till late in the evening. There was the Pronam Annual Program of central and north divisions of Kolkata Police at the Centenary Hall of Calcutta University on the 3rd of this month. 
With Shantilal Jain and Pradeep Chopra
The next day (Sunday August 4) I went to the iLead campus in Topsia as the chief guest to give away prizes to young meritorious students scoring 90 per cent and above across school.
Later on the day, and before leaving for Farhan Akhtar's programme at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in the evening, I wen to this event organized by the Alipore Zoological Garden to formally launch their adopt-an-animal scheme in the presence of eminent citizens of Kolkata at The Taj Bengal at 3 pm.
Senior officials from the forest department were there. At night, went to The Park Hotel and for the first time I dined at The Park hotel's small resident lounge and was very impressed with the presentation of food.
The weekend began with the first program of Pronam, a joint initiative of The Bengal and Kolkata Police, for the elderly citizens of Kolkata observed the Annual Program of Central and North Divisions of Kolkata Police on Saturday (August 3rd). The program, a tribute to the elderly citizens of Kolkata was a resounding success with the Centenary Hall was filled up by the elderly members of Pronam.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Sadhan Pande, Commissioner of Kolkata Police, Surajit Kar Purkayastha, Vice-Chancellor of University of Calcutta, Suranjan Das, and the senior members of Kolkata Police, including all the four Additional Commissioners of Police were there at the function namely Debashish Roy (ACP-IV), Sudhir Mishra (ACP-I), Soumen Mitra (ACP-II) and P K Chatterjee (ACP-III).
Eminent singer Usha Uthup, who is also the Board member of The Bengal, entertained the elderly audience with her performance.
The event was a major success with Usha di entertaining the elderly along with student performers from Rabindra Bharati University. The program ended on the notes of Sare Jahan Se Accha with the lights of the 1200 capacity auditorium was dimmed as hundreds of small flashlights given to the senior citizens glittering in the dark. This was indeed an unique experience.
Pronam has come a long way since its inception in 2009 when it started with 200 members. Currently, Pronam has a membership base of over 8000 senior citizens and I am confident that it would cross 10,000 members soon. Plans are on to extend the Pronam project beyond Kolkata for which I am in talks with the government bodies.
With Debasree Roy and Derek O'Brien
Two years ago Pronam initiated a project to set up a dedicated 24-hour helpline hub near Ballygunge Police Station for the senior citizens. The hub is now manned by specially trained Kolkata Police staff and executives appointed by The Bengal for receiving emergency calls from senior citizens and take follow up action according to the nature of the problem. This has instilled confidence and hope among the elderly. The Pronam project is supported by the Bangur Trust of industrialist H M Bangur who is also the Chairman of The Bengal.
On Sunday morning I went to another community program called Medha Samman Samaroh at the iLead campus in Topsia as the Chief Guest to distribute prizes to students. Mr Pradeep Chopra of iLead, Shantilal Jain, Chairman CTC, journalist Bipin Newar and others were there at the function. 
Felicitating a meritorious student
I was happy to see quite a number of girl students and in also mentioned in my speech that the girl child should be given opportunity and facilities to excel in studies.
In the afternoon the Alipore Zoological Gardens organized a programme at The Taj Bengal to formally announce the animal adoption scheme in Kolkata. Wildlife is a topic close to my heart and I was there with the singular purpose of adopting a Royal Bengal Tiger.
I met Debasree Roy MLA and animal activist, Derek O'Brien, Rajya Sabha MP, State Forest Minister,,Hiten Barman, many industrialists and representatives from the glamour world, fashion designers and others.
With West Bengal Forest Minister, Hiten Barman
Under the scheme, Alipore Zoo, Kolkata, has put up around 100 animals and birds split into seven categories for adoption in order to facilitate better infrastructure for animal care. Numerous industrialists, celebs and corporate houses, including Infosys's Narayana Murthy, have come forward in response to Zoo's animal adoption scheme under which big and small cats, rhinos, elephants, macaws are open to individuals and corporate houses and institutions for adoption.
I have submitted my request to the Alipore Zoo for adopting the youngest ( a 8 years 5 months old tigress) of the four Royal Bengal tigers available for adoption. As per the scheme I would be entitled to name the tigress which was born in March 4, 2005, at the Alipore Zoological Gardens, Kolkata, to a Royal Bengal tigress Krishna and a white tiger named Anirban. Currently, the Kolkata zoo has three other Royal Bengal Tigers namely Krishno (male) 13 years, Teesta (tigress) 12 years and another unnamed male tiger aged 12 years.
I am in touch with the forest authorities across India for quite some time for adopting big cats, especially tigers in Rajasthan's forest reserves, and have accordingly written letters in the past to the forest department to introduce adoption scheme in Ranthambore as well.
The Union Environment & Forests Ministry had released draft guidelines in middle of July 2012 to help zoos across the country. India has 164 zoos approved by the Central Zoological Authority and run by central, state or municipal authorities. These schemes are zoo specific and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Priyanka Chopra, cricketers - Srinath, Zaheer Khan, yoga guru - BKS Iyengar and others have made it popular.
My events saga for the day continued and in the evening I went to the Netaji Indoor Stadium to attend Farhan Akhtar's Live Rock On Concert organized by 91.9 Friends FM and t2. I was there as my wife is a rock concert fan. There were about 7000 rapturous and frenzied fans at the venue. It was a very different Farhan from Bhag Milkha Bhag who took to the stage with ease. Farhan is showing lot of versatility in his performance and acting.
It was long day and a very hectic weekend. I finally called it a day at around 2 pm.
ess bee

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