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ILASA organized a literary evening to honor authors

Books became popular again during the COVID period. While confined, authors completed unfinished work and readers purchased books to pass the time. The Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia (ILASA Inc) conducted a literary event at Epping Leisure and Learning Centre on Saturday, May 14th, 2022, to honour authors and their publications.

The event began with the lighting of the lamp by dignitaries – Consul General of India Manish Gupta, Mayor Phillip Ruddock, Melissa Montiero and  Nafas Ambalvi – an award winning Urdu poet from India – followed by Dr Tanima Banerji’s dance.

Rekha Rajvanshi, the founder and director of ILASA, spoke about the organizations goals, past activities and future plans.

Three multilingual books, written by Australian Indian authors were launched on the occasion. ‘Dastak’ a Hindi poetry book of 10 poets worldwide was launched first. The work of Sydney poet- Vivek Asri was included in the book, which was produced and edited by the Indian writer and poet Nupur Jaiswal, who was present at the occasion. Nupur and Vivek recited poems from the book.

The second book was Harmohan Walia’s Punjabi poetry collection Phalsapha-E-Zindagi

(Philosophy of Life), which he attended virtually due to health issues.

Dr Shailja Chaturvedi’s book – ‘The Global Citizens of India’ was also launched at the occasion.  Phillip Ruddock spoke about Dr Chaturvedi’s book and said that cultural diversity of Australia is one of greatest strengths.

Melissa Monteiro (CEO CMRC) presented to the dignitaries one of her Amazon’s bestseller books ‘The Girl From Mumbai – A Migrant Story.’ Melissa’s extraordinary career in the community sector in India and Australia over the last 30 years is chronicled in this book.

Sydney’s multi-talented Avijit Sarkar, a well-known musician, painter, cartoonist, writer, and vocalist, received the ILASA Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the arts and literature.

Julia Finn, MP and Deputy Mayor Parramatta- Sameer Pandey spoke about the importance

of literature, languages and culture and how it enriches our lives.

Listening to a special guest poet from India, Dr. Nafas Ambalvi’s, was an amazing delight. Dr Ambalvi is a doctor by profession and has received Urdu Academy and Haryana Academy awards.

One of his famous lines quoted many times by the film personalities and politicians including PM Modi is

‘Use Guma hai ki meri Udan kuchh kam hai

Mujhe yaki hai ki ye Asman kuchh kam hai’

Nimeesha Gupta, wife of the Consul General and a well-known poet, also read a poem ‘Man ka kavi hai ye Pinjre ka Rahi.’

Clr. Charishma Kaliyanda and Karishma Bhojwani (Mrs India Australia,Radio and TV personality) were honoured this year with Dr Manu Mukt Manav International Youth Awards  for their accomplishments in their respective fields.

Clr Reena Jethi and Clr Sreeni Pillamary presented Hindi Diwas 2021 certificates to the winners including Taufeeq Ahmed Sheikh (first Prize story telling), Suryashree Puntambekar ( first Prize skit) followed up by runners up including Anu Shivaram, Pankaj Upadhyay and Nisar Sirguroh.

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