The soul-stirring 20-minute long ‘conversation’ by Prof Debashish Chattterjee of IIM-Lucknow set the ball rolling on Tuesday evening for ‘Break Free’— the second independence movement, which is being initiated here from Allahabad.
Attended by some 200 enthusiastic citizens of Allahabad, the workshop truly ‘empowered’ the participants. The ‘human’ was given the mantra to turn ‘Hanuman’ and then utilize that vast ‘space’ in himself to turn the tides in his favour.
Prof Chatterjee, one amongst the top 15 thought leaders, while elaborating on the ‘power of people’ convinced the gathering how small initiatives by them can bring about a difference to their city.
Exhorting the citizens to join the movement, Chatterjee rubbished the notion that Allahabad is a laidback city. “The very packed capacity of the auditorium reflects on the fact that citizens do love their city and want the best for it,” he said.
Promising a ‘city to be proud of,’ Chatterjee introduced 6 group leaders nominated to take up issues related to Allahabad. He presented mementoes to Dhananjay Sharma, MD Baidyanath, Deepak Bhargava, Joint director, Amitdeep Motors, Yogeshwar Tiwari, Reader, Allahabad University, Anju Motihar and VP Singh.
The highlight of the evening was the glittering award ceremony that saw distinguished personalities from all walks of life getting the beautiful ‘First Citizens Trophy’ and mementoes.
The awardees included DM Amrit Abhijat (public servant), Dr AK Bansal and Dr RN Mishra (health), AK Jain, Sanjay Sharma (entrepreneur), Shakila Khan (social service), Shamsur Rahman Farooqui (Literature), Rohit Yadav (sports) and Justice Bharti Sapru (Judiciary).
The most coveted award viz ‘Citizens Of The Year’ was given to Mahesh Chauhan, president, Redifussion and DYR. He was also declared the brand ambassador of the city. Addressing the gathering, Manesh, a local lad, rued the state of affairs at Allahabad. He, however, exhorted people to wake up and take the lead in making things better. He also volunteered to do anything for the betterment of the city.
Earlier, the workshop was inaugurated by Salman Khurshid, president, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC). Addressing the gathering, he congratulated the people of Allahabad for ‘awakening’ at the right time.
Describing himself as an optimist, Khurshid said, people should not lose hope.
‘Allahabad has a rich history and it has always shown the way to others. I hope, through ‘Break Free’, people of Allahabad will again create history,’ he said.
The guest of honour Justice AK Yog congratulated Rina Singh, event coordinator and principal St Mary’s Convent School, Ghoorpur, for her efforts and expressed a lot of hope in the cause. He said such initiatives, if sustained, even for a few days can bring about a revolution. The programme concluded with special awards being given to select teachers of the primary level. The teachers’ awards were sponsored by National Sports Academy, Allahabad.