Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture (VKIC) celebrated its 21st foundation day on 31st January 2017 at WM Auditorium, VKIC. The main highlight of the program was the conferring of VKIC Sanmaanee award 2017. Every year VKIC honours a person of repute who has been tirelessly working for the promotion of indigenous faith and culture on its foundation day. This time the award was conferred on Srimad Shyamananda Brahmachari of West Garo hills. The Award carries a citation, memento, shalleng chadar and a sum of Rs 25,000.

In his welcome address, Dr Parimal Chandra Bhattacharjee, (Director Research Advisory Council, VKIC) stated that the objective of VKIC is to find the commonalities existing within the different ethnic communities focusing mainly on the cultural aspect of the communities. VKIC works with the belief that “Cultures nurtures Unity”.
Srimad Shyamananda Brahmachari, this year’s VKIC Sanmaanee in his acceptance speech shared his experiences of taking up the task of working for upliftment of people of various communities belonging to Hajong, Koch, Garo and Rabha communities. He made an appeal to the people to support him in his struggle to retain the indigenous faith, traditions and culture of the various ethnic communities. He said that lack of education and employment opportunities were compelling people to forsake their ancient beliefs, culture and heritage.

The Chief Guest of the Program Prof. Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe made a power point presentation on, “Innovation: Key to India’s Transformation”. In his presentation Prof Sahasrabudhe, currently the Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), showcased the rich innovative spirit and skills prevalent during ancient times and had stressed the need of encouraging “Innovation” among the younger generation of today. He also highlighted the steps taken up by the government of India towards this end with steps like, an e-initiative for citizens to participate in innovative programs. He however added that the ambience of creating an innovative atmosphere lies with the people and not just with the government.

Earlier on, as part of the foundation day celebration, a panel discussion on the topic, “Development through Culture” was held on 29th Jan 2017. Shri Kashinath Hazarika, Former Chairman, North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi) moderated the session; Prof Kalyan Das Honorary Associate Director VKIC, Dipankar Mahanta, Member of Executive Council, VKIC and Dr. Manjit Das, Associate Professor, Bodoland University were the main speakers of the day. The panel discussion was held with the intent of understanding how north east region - rich in human, cultural and natural resources - can march ahead ensuring sustainability of sensitive ecological chains. It also sought to understand the locality specific production spaces, their inherent behavioural and cultural characteristics, the initiatives and the institutions and how all would interact to ensure sustainability and wellbeing of all.