‘Star of Northeast’ awards given away in Guwahati

In an extended International Women’s Day programme, three talented young ladies namely Alisha Khan, Kismat Bano, and Nafisa Sadiq were felicitated with the ‘Star of the North East’ award at a function held at the Scholar School, Satgaon-Narengi in the city on Sunday. They were felicitated for their outstanding achievements in the field of rhythmic gymnastics, theatre, and rowing. Sheikh Nisar Alam, holder of national record in long jump for five years (1999-2003) and recipient of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Khel Ratna Award, was present as a special guest at the event.

The well attended event was hosted by the Scholar School, on whose behalf Madam Noorun Nahar, Principal-in-Charge informed that the School was set up in 2012 with only 13 students. A project of Human Welfare Foundation (HWF), New Delhi, the School plans to develop the students’ physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual personality in accordance with best principles of life. So far HWF has set up educational institutions in Assam, Delhi, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Dr T Ahmed, the founder promoter of the School, also addressed the gathering.

The award event was supported by Unity Education Foundation. Dr Shafiqur Rahman, Assistant Professor, Geography Department, Guwahati College spoke on behalf of the Foundation and said, “Ours is a knowledge enterprise formed by very highly qualified and experienced likeminded people with distinct objective of creating innovative and practical solution in the areas of employability, human resource and career development, dedicated to making the people employable. We are happy to support any initiative that empowers our youth.”

Among the three awardees, Alisha Khan, besides taking part in a number of state and national level sports events, was the State Champion in Rhythmic and Artistic Gymnastics for 12 consecutive years from 1996 to 2007. At present she is one of the Assam State Coaches in gymnastics.

The other awardee, Kismat Bano, a youngster from Guwahati, has acted in over 15 plays in different languages including Assamese and Hindi which have been staged in different cities of the country. Wings Theatre, which Kismat Bano set up about three years ago, has participated in prestigious Bharat Rang Mahotsav, Nandikar, EZCC, Sangeet Natak Academy, Prithvi, Nehru Centre, PDA festivals, Kalashetra Chennai, Octave festival (Goa and Rajasthan) and at Qadir Ali Baig theatre festival etc.

The youngest of the lot, Nafisa Sadiq started her rowing career representing Assam by participating in the 12th Sub-Junior National Rowing Championship 2009 held at Pune.  Eventually, Nafisa became the first rower from Assam to represent the country. Nafisa Sadiq represented India at the Asian Junior Rowing Championship held at Samarkhand, Uzbekisthan in 2013, Taipei in September 2014 and at Wa han, China in July 2015. Nafisa made a national record in the Junior National Rowing Championship 2015 when she won the gold medal in the single scull event to become the Fastest Junior Women Rower in India for three consecutive years.

They all received a memento and a certificate from the hands of leading citizens present at the event. In an interactive conversation that followed, the awardees related the stories of the struggles and achievements and answered the questions posed by the audience. The formal vote of thanks was given by Ikram Hussain, member of ‘Star of North East’ group.