“Awareness, needed to promote Indian culture, history”

Government, Cultural Department, civil society  and teachers should play pro-active role towards awareness regarding Indian  Culture and its           history as it is the need of  the hour in                       Jammu and Kashmir.
This was stated by Odissi Dance Exponent Kavita Dwibedi from Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth       (SPIC-MACAY), during an exclusive interview      with Excelsior Correspondent Ajay Raina.
Daughter and disciple of Odissi maestro Guru Harekrishna Behera, Kavita Dwibedi is one of the leading exponents of Odissi dance in India today. She is a Post Graduate in Sociology from Delhi University and holds Visharad (BA) in Odissi dance from Gandharva Mahavidyalay.
A dancer of vision and versatility, Kavita is known for her superb abhinaya. A widely travelled danseuse, Kavita had a highly successful Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) sponsored performance tour to the UK, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, Ireland and Norway during the 50th anniversary celebrations of India’s independence in 1997.
The artiste has also earned wide acclaim for her performances at some of the world’s highly prestigious platforms in countries like the USA and Canada and including her presentation at the UN Headquarters at New York.
She has also taken part in international events in Spain (1991), China (1994), Japan (1994), Kuwait (1995), Maldives (1995), Kyrgyzstan (1998), Germany (1999) and France (1999).
In her professional career spanning over ten years, Kavita Dwibedi has also had the privilege of presenting Odissi dance recitals in almost all the major dance festivals in the country like the Khajuraho, Konark, Natyanjali, Soorya Dance Festival, Mamallapuram, Malabar- Mahotsavam, Tansen Tyagraj Festival (1997), Sidharth Music and Dance Festival (1998) and Puri-Beach Dance Festival (1996).
She had also been invited to participate in the festival of Odissi dance Nrutya Parva (1998) to mark the 50 years of Odissi organised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi at Bhubaneswar.
A dancer of deep commitment towards an undiluted and authentic approach to Odissi, Kavita is credited with a number of new choreographies based on traditional chhanda music of Orissa like the much lauded Ritu-Rang. She was awarded a Junior Fellowship by the Department Of Culture, Government of India in 1997.
She was also a recipient of a Government of India Scholarship in the field of Music and Dance from the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the period 1990-92.
A winner of several awards and medals, Kavita Dwibedi is the founder Director of Odissi Akademi, Delhi–an Institution set up by her to promote and propagate Odissi dance and music.
“Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC-MACAY), is a non-profit, voluntary movement with its primary objective as to expose today’s students and young people to the beauty, grace and wisdom embodied in the age-old Indian Art forms and its heritage. It is a movement by, for and of the students. Classical music and dance, dating back to antiquity, are the chief medium of creating awareness of this culture amongst youth. Started in 1977 this movement has now spread across the length and breadth of the globe with more than 400 chapters in various countries, cities and towns”, she stated.
“Here in Jammu, I witnessed that not only students, but dance teachers are only restricted to some functions including Independence Day, Republic Day and School’s Annual Day, but don’t take measures to bring the Indian Culture to the fore”, Dwibedi said, adding that high-class infrastructure, auditorium and lavishing playfields can not aware students about the basics of Indian Culture as it needs determent efforts not only by the teachers but by the school management and parents also.
“During my visit to Jammu and Kashmir, I performed in various schools at Jammu. I along with my colleagues cleared all the queries of the students asked during questionnaire regarding Indian Culture. I found that the students are aggressive to learn about our culture and Government, Cultural Department, people, teachers and parents should play pro-active role towards it”, Kavita added.
When asked about her experience during her visit to schools here, she said that “It was a good experience here. Students are aggressive to learn about Indian Culture and need of the hour is awareness. Government, Cultural Department, people and teachers should take appropriate steps for promotion of Indian Culture in J&K”.
When asked about message to youth, she stated that presently the youth should participate in the activities related to promotion of the Indian culture and its history. She added that the youth should shun drugs and join this movement.
Dr Sapna Sangra, State Coordinator of SPIC-MACAY and Dr Seema Rohmetra, Coordinator Jammu Region have taken the task of promotion of Indian Culture in J&K and I hope that they will put-up their efforts for promotion of the same in the State, Odissi Dance Exponent Kavita Dwibedi added.
Dr Sapna K Sangra, Asstt Prof Sociology, University of Jammu said that “We are working towards promotion of Indian culture and for this we need support from civil society. Out motto is to made students aware about the Indian culture and its history so we organize programme through SPIC-MACAY in the schools here”.
Dr Seema Rohmetra, Sr Asstt Prof, University of Jammu and Coordinator, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Jammu Chapter said “We need to promote and support the movement towards the preservation and promotion of traditions and culture.
“Education has a big role to play in this direction. Educational institutions can go a long way in preserving India’s rich cultural heritage. The movement requires support from the Government and civil society both in terms of continuous re-enforcement and fund generation”, Dr Rohmetra asserted.