Interviews, Features, Events, Bengali & Indian Performing Arts & Artist Reviews

Interview - Dr. Shymal Baran Mukherjee, Judge, IIDR Sarood Samman 2010 Best Kolkata Durga Puja Awards

CALCUTTA, Oct 12, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Subhomoy Mukherjee, WBRi reporter in Calcutta, met up with Dr. Shymal Baran Mukherjee - one of the judges of the prestigious IIDR Sarood Samman Awards given to the top 4 Calcutta Durga Puja organizers.

Listen to the audio interview online.

Durga Puja in the United States

The trucks are all loaded in Kumartuli, the mandaps or the pandals glittering, teens and not-so-teens in Calcutta have long included choturthi in their puja days…


New York, NY, October 12, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio / TROMA) The TromaDance Film Festival Committee is thrilled to announce that Oscar-nominated writer Josh Olson will join the distinguished group of independent filmmakers who will speak at the TromaDance Press Conference at the 2010 American Film Market. The press conference is scheduled for November 4, 2010 at 3 pm in the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Press Room.

Olson received an Academy Award nomination for his work writing A History of Violence (starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello). More recently, he has penned a Wizard of Oz sequel for Warner Brothers and adapted the novel One Shot for Paramount. Currently he is busy contributing to Joe Dante’s (Gremlins) website Trailers From Hell, developing several TV projects, and preparing to take the helm as director on the upcoming adaptation of the Dennis Lehane story Until Gwen.

India ranked very low at 112 out of total 134 in World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report

CALCUTTA, Oct 12, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) India is ranked at 112 out of total 134 listed countries in the Global Gender Gap Report issued by World Economic Forum.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, commenting on India’s low ranking on the list, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that India needed to take urgent steps to make women as equal partners in the society and eliminate gender inequality. Lesser gender gaps would also bring prosperity and economic competitiveness to the country besides fairness.

Participating Kolkata Durga Puja Committes for Sarood Samman 2010 Calcutta Puja Awards Contest - list for Best Durga Puja

Kolkata Durga Puja Awards Contest Online Competition Coverage

CALCUTTA, October 11, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) The final list of Calcutta Durga Puja committees participating in the IIDR Sarod Samman Awards contest has been announced.

You can follow Washington Bangla Radio's exclusive coverage of the best of Kolkata Durga Pujas participating in the contest in our dedicated 2010 IIDR Puja section here.

Around 19 Pujas are selected for the competition this year from about 70 applications. Around 50 applications were initially selected, but unfortunately, a lot of them did not make it to the final list of contestants because of incomplete information in the forms, e.g. signature missing, route direction not given, wrong phone number etc.

The IIDR Sarrod Samman awards is a competition for the top 4 best Durga Pujas in the Kolkata - 24 Parganas - Burdwan area in West Bengal. The winners are selected  by a qualified panel of judges. You can find information about this year's judges in our post here.

This year IIDR is trying to create awareness among Puja Committees regarding Safety and Security aspects of Pandal hoppers (proper fire fighting arrangement, First Aid Arrangements, Drinking water facilities, special arrangements for physically challenged, proper passage etc.), more investment of time and resources for social service and environment protection.

While visiting the contestant pujas judges will ask and interact with organizers about these issues.
Winning Puja committees will be selected based on these issues. There will be mass media coverage.
IIDR allows small business organizations to advertise their brands in Publicity materials of Sarood Samman, as a part to promote small business houses. Washington Bangla Radio is the online and radio partner of the IIDR Awards.

The contesting Durga Pujas this year are:

Top International Business Suites & Hotel in Pune, India gets new General Manager

Pune, India, October 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio / prurgent) Marriott International, the leading world-wide lodging company appointed Ms. Ranju Alex as the General Manager at Courtyard by Marriott, Pune Hinjewadi.

In her new role, Ranju will lead Courtyard by Marriott, Pune Hinjewadi and will be responsible for all the aspects of the day to day management and operations of the property. She joins the Marriott Group after being the officiating General Manager at the Oberoi Grand Hotel, Kolkata. Ranju brings with her close to two decades of valuable experience in management and operations, in various capacities spanning over multiple designations in the hospitality industry. She began her career as a Management Trainee in the prestigious Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development (OCLD) and went on to achieve a gold medal in the programme. Being with the top notch brand at the Oberoi Grand Hotel, Kolkata, Ranju moved on the ladder in roles varying from Housekeeping Manager, Rooms division Manager to the Officiating General Manager. An outright operations person, Ranju’s credo has always been Guest Satisfaction.

Chennai (Madras) India auto show : Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, Bentleys, Rolls Royce Phantom, Lotus Elise, Ariel Atom

Chennai (Madras), India, Oct 10, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio / prurgent) A first time for the city, get a glimpse of the most coveted dream machines like Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, Bentleys, Rolls Royce Phantom, Lotus Elise, Ariel Atom and others at the ‘Parx Super Car Show’ on Sunday, October 10th, 2010 from 12 noon onwards at Madras Motor Sports Club Track, Irungaattukottai, near Sriperumbudur.

State Bank Of India SBI Life posts Net Profit of Rs 114 Cr in Q1

Mumbai, India (Washington Bangla Radio / prurgent) : SBI Life Insurance, a leading private life insurer, announced a profit of Rs.114 Crores, for the quarter ended June 2010, registering an impressive profit growth of 195% over the corresponding period last year. The total premium of the company grew by 9.5% to Rs. 1,707 Crores during the period. The new business premium collected, during the first quarter, stands at Rs. 976 Crores. Rapidly expanding its presence, the company has introduced 118 branches, recruited 830 employees and added over 5,000 Insurance Advisors.

• Expands by adding 118 new branches
• Asset under Management increases by 65%
• Total Premium Collection grows by 9.5%

Commenting on the results, Mr. Rao, MD & CEO of SBI Life Insurance said “We will focus on building capacity through branch expansion, manpower recruitment and inducting Insurance Advisors so that we are able to serve customers across geographies. Holistically enhancing our performance that balances profitability and growth will remain a key business driver. Our unique multi-distribution model coupled with SBI’s strong brand equity has been an enabler of sustained all round business performance.”