NURTURING talent and charity were the main themes at an annual two-day event held by the United Assam Association of the United Kingdom (Uaauk) last weekend.
Upcoming Assamese singer Simanta Shekhar took centre stage as Assam Day’s guest artist, singing on both 24 and 25 August at the Brooklands Hotel in Barnsley, England.
Dr Nripen Barkataki, the Uaauk’s General Secretary, said: “We were proud to be able to give a platform to such a talented artist. Our hope is that by bringing Simanta to the United Kingdom, we can help to show off his talents and help him move forward in his already successful career.”
And successful it has been. Simanta Shekhar shot to fame in 2005 with the song Dikhou Noi Eribo Nuwaru from the movie Jonbai.
As Simanta kept the 100-strong delegation entertained, a desire to increase and improve charitable giving was a central topic of discussion.
The Association’s Vice President Dr Shyam Saikia used the annual Gala dinner to announce that the Uaauk is opening a charitable account to ensure more regularity to organisation’s charitable activities.
Dr Saikia said: “The new account will mean we can make sure we can fund things like a specially adapted wheelchair, something we recently did for Silsila Das, a talented young girl who loves to dance, but who was an unfortunate victim of polio.”
The first contribution to the new account was £410 and came from the traditional Assam Day raffle.
The thirteenth Assam Day retained its traditions, including a cultural show of local artists, family games, a quiz, “Assam Day Olympics” and dancing late into the night.
The Association’s President Dr Jitendralal Borkakoti said: “The main purpose of the annual gathering of our large Assamese ‘family’ is all about renewing friendships and meeting new friends.
“There is no doubt that Simanta’s singing and the memories shared by our Chief Guest [Dr Leslie Fox, the former headteacher of Assam Valley School] led to us reminisce about the past and creating new memories for our futures together.”