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NEW DELHI: Music Maestro & Cultural Icon Abhay Rustum Sopori, who is credited for creating a Cultural Revolution & bringing the youth together through music, has been honoured with the prestigious ‘Atal Santoor Sadhna Shikhar Samman 2017’ for his unparallel path breaking contribution to the field of music. The award is named after the former Primer Minister of India Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and was presented in New Delhi at the Parliament of India marking his 93rd Birthday.

The award was presented at a function organized by Vaibhav Welfare Society and was presented by Dr. Bhuvnesh Singhal, also an acclaimed writer, Shyam Jaju, National Vice President, BJP, Roshan Kansal and Gopal Jha. The award was also presented to Ashok Chakra awardee Shaheed Mohit Singh (Posthumously) who sacrificed his life for the country, renowned journalist Prabal Pratap singh for journalism, eminent dancers Nalini-Kamalini for Kathak Dance and others.

Abhay is a recipient of a number of national and international awards including the prestigious J&K State Award, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan National Media Award, Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, Bharat Shiromani Award, Best Citizens of India Award, Sangeet Bhushan Award and many more.  He has been instrumental in introducing ‘Cultural Policy’ in J&K and is acclaimed as the cultural face of J&K. He expressed his gratitude for the great honour bestowed upon him. He said the award is special as it was presented at the Parliament of India, the temple of democracy of the world. 

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  • Anindo Chatterjee, Vinayak Torvi, Manju Mehta bag top SaMaPa Awards; Dr. T N Madan, Rafeeq Masoodi, Waheed Jeelani, Bahauddin Dagar, Chetan Joshi amongst others selected this year for various SaMaPa awards 

SaMaPa 2017 Awardees - Anindo Chatterjee, Vinayak Torvi, Manju Mehta, T N Madan, Chetan Joshi, Bahauddin Dagar, Chetan Joshi, Jaspal Moni, Rafeeq Masoodi, Waheed Jeelani & Rishi UpadhyayNEW DELHI/JAMMU: SaMaPa (Sopori Academy of Music And Performing Arts), the well known music academy and music organization of India by music legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori and music maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori, today announced the names of the recipients of this year’s prestigious SaMaPa awards, the exclusive national level honours pertaining to Jammu & Kashmir. The awards will be given on 26th of November 2017 during the 13th edition of SaMaPa Sangeet Sammelan, the topmost classical music festivals of Delhi, being presented in collaboration with Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and IFFCO. The announcement was made by the General Secretary of SaMaPa, music maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori in New Delhi. 

SaMaPa is a cultural movement translating from a deep-rooted vision of the great music legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori in creating a unique, unbiased and empowering national level platform for presentation, propagation, and teaching of traditional music and performing arts. SaMaPa is acclaimed as a Cultural Bridge of the State of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of the country and to have created a new generation of music connoisseurs. 

‘SaMaPa Vitasta Award is being conferred upon the veteran Tabla maestro Pt. Anindo Chatterjee (Kolkata) and vocalist Pt. Vinayak Torvi (Bengaluru) for their lifetime contribution to Hindustani classical music. The Award carries cash honour of Rs. 50,000 and is given to prominent personalities who have been an asset to our country in the field of art and culture for their unparalleled contribution to Indian art and heritage. The award has been named after the historical river Vitasta of Kashmir also known as Jehlum. The Vitasta represents the cultural ethos and rich heritage of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been a symbol of love, harmony, art and culture and Sufi-Saint tradition. 

‘SaMaPa Kala Vardhan Samman is being conferred upon Saptak, the cultural organization from Ahmedabad. The Award will be presented to Vidushi Manju Mehta, the eminent Sitar Maestro and founder member of Saptak, who will be felicitated for her lifetime contribution to Indian music. The Samman is a special award instituted to honour those eminent personalities, cultural philanthropists and visionaries who go beyond the conventional areas of working and contribute significantly towards the growth, development, and promotion and propagation of art and culture of the country. 

‘SaMaPa Nund Rishi Samman is being conferred upon one of the greatest living anthropologist of the world Dr. T N Madan for his contribution to socio-cultural history of Kashmir. Dr. Rafeeq Masoodi will be awarded for his enormous contribution to Kashmiri Art, Culture & Language, and Waheed Jeelani, the renowned singer from Jammu & Kashmir, will be awarded for his immense contribution to Kashmiri music. The Samman carries cash award of Rs. 21,000 and has been named after Sheikh-Ul-Alam, the great Sufi Saint of Kashmir, a spiritual legend who’s contribution to Kashmiriyat is enormous. The award is given to the personalities with enormous contribution having done path-breaking works in the folk and regional culture. 

‘SaMaPa Acharya Abhinavgupt Samman’ is being conferred upon Dr. Deo Datt Sharma (Jaipur) for his lifetime contribution to the field of art and culture as a music critic & writer. The Samman carries cash award of Rs. 11,000 and has been instituted in the name of Acharya Abhinavgupt of 10th century from Kashmir who has been an unmatched thinker, aesthetician, philosopher and an unparallel commentator of Bharatmuni’s ‘Natyashastra’. Acharya Abhinavgupt has been in the real sense the man of the millennium. ‘SaMaPa Acharya Abhinavgupt Samman’ is a special award given to music critics, musicologists, scholars and journalists in appreciation of their extraordinary work towards music and performing arts. 

‘SaMaPa Sangeet Tejasvi Samman’ is a new award instituted by SaMaPa this year to be given to those individuals who have contributed significantly at national and international level and are promising legends in making of Indian music. The Samman carries cash award of Rs. 21,000. This year the Award is being presented to eminent Rudra Veena exponent Ustad Mohi Bahauddin Dagar (Maharashtra), eminent Flute maestro Chetan Joshi (Delhi) and well known Composer Jaspal Moni (Delhi). 

‘SaMaPa Yuva Ratan Samman’ is conferred upon Rishi Shankar Upadhyay (Delhi) in recognition of his conspicuous talent and achievements in the field of Hindustani classical music (Pakhawaj). The Samman carries cash award of Rs. 11,000 and has been instituted to recognize, encourage and felicitate the young generation artists of the country who are doing exceptionally well in their respective fields.  

The awards will be presented during SaMaPa Sangeet Sammelan 2017 which is featuring some of the eminent musicians of Indian classical music including music legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori & maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori (Santoor), Pandit Vinayak Torvi, Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas, Kalapini Komkali (Vocal), Ustad Mohi Bahauddin Dagar (Rudra Veena), Vidushi Manju Mehta (Sitar) Chetan Joshi (Flute) and many others. The festival is also a gateway for the young musicians with exceptional talent getting their first stage in a prestigious festival along with senior legendary maestros of the country. This year, again a number of young musicians will be presented and promoted in the festival. The festival will also feature the Annual Painting Exhibition by the artists of Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from the SaMaPa awards, various personalities in the field of culture and those who have contributed to J&K art and culture will also be felicitated during the festival. 

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SRINAGAR: Social activist and community organizer Tarana Burke created the phrase "Me Too" on the MySpace social network in 2006 as part of a grassroots campaign to promote "empowerment through empathy" among women of color who have experienced sexual abuse, particularly within underprivileged communities. Burke, who is creating a documentary titled Me Too, has said she was inspired to use the phrase after being unable to respond to a 13-year-old girl who confided to her that she had been sexually assaulted. Burke later wished she had simply told the girl, "me too".

After accusations against Weinstein surfaced in 2017, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged spreading the phrase as part of an awareness campaign to show the scale and ubiquity of the problem, tweeting: "If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too.' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Milano later attributed the phrase to Burke, calling Burke's story "heartwarming and inspiring.

This campaign has reached every corner of world through social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It defined a path and provided a platform to the voices of women who have witnessed series of harassment, molestation or rape in their particular lives. No doubt, thousands of organization, Government bodies, judiciary, commissions and police forces are working for protection of women and girl child across the world. Still a daughter, mother, wife or sister have faced wrath of molestation in their particular lives.

Women is a mirror of society, crafted by Almighty to lead the society and decorate it with morals and values but same women is being raped or molested in broad day light in our country since 1973 and still we are waiting to witness a change in the laws for protection ad safety of women. Some of the cases which has been discussed in print and electronic media as well as in chambers of courts are as, but still the cries of victims are going louder and louder  1.Aruna Shanbaugh Rape Case 1973, 2. Mathura Rape case in 1972, 3. Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case in 1996, 4. Anjana rape case 199, 5. Soumya murder and rape case, 6. Mumbai gang rape, 7. Bhanwari Devi Gang rape case in 1992, 8. Scarlett keeling rape and murder case in 2009, 9. Imrana rape case 2005, 10.Delhi Gang rape case 2012. 

These are just numbers. Hundreds of rape cases are being not registered or neither being heard, either victim feel threat to life or boycott from society. Still our society is working same. Harsh laws are still being debated in lobbies of parliament and a woman is crying for her legal rights guaranteed by constitution of India. She is not meant for Stalked, Abused, Molested or Raped. She has been sent by God, to get honor and respect”. 

Social media have helped a lot to popularize the campaigns regarding issues of Health, Environment, and culture or about women rights. India is known as divine land of versatile culture and respects towards women and rights to women, with safeguard by our constitution, but still in this era of nuclear technology, cyber security or freedom as well as liberty. Somewhere at every minute a women is being molested or raped. 

CEEOIndia , a voluntarily organization trying to fill the gap between people and government through a bridge and channelizing ideas of communication from people to government and government to people on policies, bills or opinions from people especially living in rural areas. 

With support from colleges, Universities, Girl schools, SHG members, small CBO’s, NGO’s, women lobbying groups and volunteers across India. The organization also tried to work on MeToo campaign and started to listen about the voices of millions of women across India. We started from south of India and landed in northern part of our beautiful country and at last we make our entry to the paradise of world and crown of our country India i.e Jammu and Kashmir.

The stories are not different from rest part of India but the spirit among youth to withstand as a shield of respect for every woman in the society spread a message of savior. No doubt molestation and eve teasing are working as parallel corridors and sensitization is the must need of hour among teens.

This story is a message to every women or a girl child across the nation that Tahmeena Rizvi, a young and determined graduate in Business Administration from University of Kashmir. She has completed her schooling from Tahira Khanm’s and Govt. Girls Higher secondary, listening her voice and a passion to work for community is itself a revolution. A dedicated UPSC aspirant and firm believer in women empowerment and livelihood make her claim stronger about equality and support to the women in our country. Her Father Shri Syed Ibrahim Rizvi, supported the daughter in her ambition to work for the women across the Kashmir province. “I believe in her and wish that she rise above the hallmark and lead the women of this society towards a prosperous journey of empowerment and livelihood”

Kashmir is indeed a beautiful place on the earth but somewhere a woman is dying because of autocracy, Family disputes, peer pressures , Molestation and even eve teasing. Our society is so man framed that sometimes to get the support of parents for standing up with a cause oriented for women issues, needs tons of strength.   I usually engage myself in visiting state women commission and imbibed by the great work done by smt. Nayeema Mehjoor, chairperson SWC-J&K, Iron lady of Jammu and Kashmir state and try to get first hand stories of victims, who have lodged their complaints for redressal or help in the commission. 

With launch of Metoo campaign and support from CEEOIndia by selecting my work and dedication as Women Ambassador for #Metoo campaign in association with SAARC Union as well as support from both state and central government make me write more and more about stories of molestation faced by women behind closed doors in this beautiful place. With scope to connect with Ministry of Women and child development, I am very thankful to smt. Maneka Gandhi ji, Hon’ble union minister for women and child development, for listening grievances of women from Jammu and Kashmir state.  Our determined Hon’ble chief Minister Madam, Mehbooba Mufti is very much supportive in issues regarding women harassment and particularly in development of girl child education and her firm stand in providing financial assistance under Laadli Beti scheme to the new-born Girl child of our state. 

Metoo provided a platform to the millions of women to record their history of harassment and molestation and message has been spread to work constructively for the honor of women and I am very thankful to IWSLG, METOO Asia and Europe, CEEOIndia, Ministry of Women and child development, National women commission, state women commission, CM Office, Govt. of J&K, Jammu and Kashmir police especially women police cell for being so much supportive in listening my quoted grievances about cases regarding women molestation and I am thankful my friends, Teachers and parents for supporting me to stand up and raise my voices for the rights of women. “

Tahmeena Rizvi has been appreciated so far by different organizations and Government departments across the nation. Her work in the sector of women empowerment and livelihood has been submitted to the office of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, to recognize her small efforts to make the society safe and crime free for women in Jammu and Kashmir” we all wish her all the best for future steps and Metoo is verily doing its best to recognize the faces who are working for the future of Girl Child in our nation India.


The writer is a fellow social worker from SIU College in Carbondale, Vidisha Anand from Delhi University Project coordinator IWSLG, Tahseen Mustafa, PM to CEEOIndia, story narration Apoorva Balla FTI and village coordinator GH. Hussian from CEEOIndia HR Team.