| June 30th, 2007

* adhunika’s five year anniversary gala

Written by our member and regular participant Shakila Hashem

It was an evening to remember as singers, dancers, musicians and many other talents descended upon Manhattan to celebrate Adhunika’s five year anniversary. On Saturday, June 16, 2007 performers, artists and volunteers from several corners of the arrived at a local high school in New York City and gave their time and energy to an important cause which is very close to their hearts.


The aim of Adhunika is to bring about social change in the lives of women through the use of technology. With this important agenda in mind, Adhunika organized a fundraiser – a half day event that celebrated the myriad roles and responsibilities that Bangladeshi women have adopted through the decades. The show was entitled “Dreamers & Makers”, an apt description of the powerful women in Bangladesh who have made numerous unforgettable and enigmatic contributions to our society.

The first part of the event was comprised of a “mela” or fair. Several booths and stalls were set up to inform, educate and/or entertain the curious audience members as they strolled through the front hall. Here, one could pick up brochures and pamphlets that informed one of several organizations, such as SAYA, Drishtipat, GRAM that provide community outreach activities. There were stalls set up by local Bangladesh artisans, a children’s craft corner and the all-important Bangladeshi food stall that tempted buyers with favorites like boot-moori and pyaaju.


After that, it was time to venture into the auditorium to enjoy the second portion of the evening – the cultural show. Deftly combining entertainment while simultaneously raising awareness about the issues at hand, the show promised to provide hours of great fun. The evening was kicked off by a number of musical presentations by performers from the greater New England region. Many of these musicians traveled from out of state to make their generous and incredibly dynamic contributions to the stage and to the cause.


Each performer selected songs of a specific genre and all of them were dedicated to the women artists of Bangladesh. To round out the show, there were dance performances that dazzled, poetry recitations that empowered and a small skit that drew laughter from the audience.


Anila Naz Chowdhury showcased her vocal prowess with songs that paid tribute to Shahnaz Rahmatullah and Sabina Yasmin while Atiq Rahman wowed the crowd with a rendition of songs composed and written by Shayan. Runa Laila and Ferdousi Rahman were beautifully represented by Nuzhat Karim Himi. Husband and wife duo Shaila Zaman and Sujan Bin Wadud sang a duet from Samia Zaman’s movie “Rani Kutir Baki Itihash” that was a tribute to Sameena Chowdhury. Tamanna Shaheed and Roshni Basu paid tribute to Nina Hamid and Punam respectively. The song Jago Nari Jago was depicted in a spectacular dance by Noor E Saba Hakim. And Haseen Habib gave an emotionally potent recitation of the poem “Shomajer Kit” as a tribute to Rekha Drong.

A progressive short story entitled “Sultana’s Dream” was adapted into dramatic form by me, and performed by Zeeshan Chowdhury, Nafisa Ferdous and Selina Huq. The story was written at the beginning of the 20th century by Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain and depicts a feminist utopia that reverses purdah.


The piece de resistance of the evening was a fashion show organized by friends of Adhunika which showcased gorgeous sarees and kurtas from Shahruk’s Collection, designed by famous boutique designer Shahruk Shahid who is a great supporter of Adhunika. The models proudly strutted their piece to live music and had audience tapping their feet to the catchy score even as they eyed the beautiful fashions flowing across the stage.


The music for the entire evening was coordinated by Sujan Bin Wadud on the keyboard and Shafaq Islam on the tabla. Guiding us energetically and with great style through the various performances of the night was MC Ayesha Nazmi.
One of the show’s many highlights was a very important presentation on Adhunika which was greatly appreciated by the audience. The presentation provided an overview of Adhunika’s achievements since its inception. It also touched upon the reasons why members have chosen to volunteer for Adhunika, to donate their time and energy for a cause that they believe in. The audience was given a glimpse into the life of a Bangladeshi woman – the plight of economic and social insecurity and inequality, but also learned of the gains that have been achieved and continue to be achieved for these women.

Overall it was a fulfilling and heartwarming event, dedicated to a noble cause. The event was a testament to the idea that each and every person can make a difference in the world with even the smallest contribution made from the heart.


About this blog

Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more



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