Disaster and culture come together at ‘Star Talk Three’

The third discourse under the series Star Talk was organised by the Stars of North East (SoNE) group in Guwahati on Sunday. While the main objective of SoNE is to unearth, nurture, mentor, and showcase talents in the society, the group engages itself in multifarious service activities from time to time.

One of the most recent initiatives of SoNE is the Star Talk series in which experts from various fields deliberate on topics of importance with a view to creating awareness about the subject. Kismat Bano (theatre artiste and film maker), Syed Mohsin Raja (digital & social media expert), Salma Hussain (human rights worker), and Dr Rezwan Hussain (biotechnology consultant) have deliberated under the series in recent past.

At the beginning of the Sunday event, Salma Hussain was felicitated on her selection for the Youth Peace Award 2017 by the National Foundation of India along with Foundation of Social Transformation supported by The Sasakawa Peace Foundation. Salma will accordingly take up a study of “Rehabilitation of Women Prisoners in the Tezpur Central Jail as part of this Award.

The first speaker of the evening, Dr Mirza Mahammad Irshad deliberated on “Basics of Disaster Management. Dr Irshad had worked with UNDP, International humanitarian organisation MSF (Holland) and DFID in the past. He did his Master’s in Social Work and Graduation from Aligarh Muslim University and PhD on Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) from Gauhati University. In 2015, he was selected for United State of America’s prestigious International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) on Disaster Management. He is presently posted as Project Manager, Assam State Disaster Management Authority.

In a lucid presentation, Dr Irshad explained what a disaster is in general and about earthquakes in particular. He informed the audience how they could do seismic evaluation of existing buildings and protect themselves from disasters. He dealt with the National Disaster Management Act 2005 and explained how the Government acts for preparedness, response, and post disaster recovery works.

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Guest of honour Jasmine Hussain (2nd from L) being felicitated at the Star Talk Three event in Guwahati on Sunday. Appointed speaker Dr Mirza Mahammad Irshad is seen at extreme right.

Shalim M Hussain, recipient of the India Foundation for Arts Grant 2016 for research work on the art and culture of the inhabitants of Char Chapori areas of Assam, was the second speaker of the evening. His deliberation dwelt with the rich musical and stick dance heritage of the river bank inhabitants of Assam. Speaking Tiger, one of the front ranking publishing houses of India, has recently entered into a deal with Hussain under which he will author a series of four books showcasing the rich cultural legacy of the areas in which he is presently doing his research work.

Among others, Tinat Atifa Masood, Hamad Berlashker, Siddharth P Dutta, Asha Khan, Mumeninaz Zaman, and Rehana Choudhury took active part in the interaction that followed the talks. The event was hosted jointly by Gulam Sarowar Hussain and Neyaj Uddin Ahmed, and supported by Unity Education Foundation.