Meera, Kabir, Krishna bhajans mesmerize the attendees at Bhakti Sangeet Utsav 2023

The three-day festival of Bhakti Sangeet Utsav by comes to an end with the finest Musical Devotion with an incredible outpouring of spiritual songs that resonated deeply with the hearts of all attendees. The event featured some of the most illustrious voices in the realm of Bhakti Sangeet, capturing the essence of devotion through a mesmerising blend of Meera, Kabir, and Krishna bhajans.,,

The event opened with the mesmerising Sawani Mudgal, whose melodious interpretations of raag-based bhajans by saint poets like Kabir, Meera, Nanak, and more charmed the crowd. Her commitment to playing traditional Indian instruments like the harmonium, tanpura, and tabla created a gripping ambiance. The magic continued by Vidhi Sharma, who brought to life songs by Bhakt Tulsidas, Meera, Surdas, and Dadu Dayal, including well-known songs like "Sanson ki mala pe," "Keshav hari hari nandlala," and Sufi compositions by Baba Bullehshah and Sant Kabir. Hemant Brijwasi, the 2009 "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs" winner, added to the diversity by igniting people's spirits with songs like "Jay Radhe Radhe," "saware tere bin Jiya Na Jaye," and others.

The second day of the Bhakti Sangeet Utsav opened with the melodious Rashmi Agarwal who presented variety of bhajans of Meerabai, Sant Kabir, Chhit Swami, and Baba BullehShah. The audience was deeply influenced by the several devotional songs, including 'Moko kahan dhunde bande', 'Pani mein min pyasi', 'Deewane bande kaun tera yahan sathi', 'Ritu faagun niya rani koi piya se milave', 'Chetavni mukhda kya dekha darpan mein', and 'Man na rangaee rangae jogi kapda' sung by Brijesh Mishra. One of India's best folk singers of Kabir, Shri Prahlad Singh Tipanya, captivated the audience with his heartfelt interpretations to cap off the second day, leaving everyone in awe of his talent.

As the Bhakti Sangeet Utsav approached its grand finale on the third day, Vidya Shah ascended the stage and gave a stirring performance. Her performance was followed by deep bhakti songs like 'Ram Charan Sukhdai', 'Mann lago mero yaar', 'Chadariya jhini re jhini', 'Zara Halke gaadi', 'Iska bhed bata', 'Saanson ki mala mein', 'mera apki kripa', and 'mujhe raas aa gaya', given by Mamta Joshi. Sharma Bandhu then took the stage, captivating the audience with their enchanting voices, delivering evergreen classics like 'Jaise sooraj ki garmi se jalte huye tan to mil jaaye taruvar ki chaya', 'Rama ho rama ho', 'Bhajan chalta rahe', 'Shri Ram sharan', and 'Ram savare sabke kaam', among many more.

Reflecting on the festival, Ms. Atishi, the Hon’ble Minister of Art & Culture, Delhi, expressed, “Bhakti Sangeet Utsav has not only given a beautiful platform to some of the best known musical maestros of our country but also to new emerging artists. It is another one of Kejriwal govt’s attempts to take art and culture out of the elite spaces of the past and to make it more accessible to the masses. Hence the festival was held at an open air venue of Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri and there was free entry for the public. It has been heartwarming to see excitement for the event in diverse groups from senior citizens to college students alike.”

The Bhakti Sangeet Utsav 2023 was an exceptional voyage across the realms of devotion and music. It brought people together in a musical and spiritual festival, filling everyone's hearts with exquisite happiness.

Michael Cinco Captivates fashion industry at Fashion Connect Season 15 in Jaipur

Glamour and Elegance Converge at the 15th Season of Fashion Connect that was just held in Jaipur and it instantly became an epicenter of glamour as it played host to the sensational 15th season of Fashion Connect. An evening of spectacular display of fashion, Fashion Connect is an eagerly awaited event, filled with breathtaking display of haute couture and cutting-edge style, making it an unmissable occasion for the fashion fraternity of Jaipur.,,

The star-studded event featured glitterati, opened by the renowned Neeta Lulla, followed by captivating showcases by Mohit Falad, Kalash Parnami, and Pallavi Sethi. The evening culminated in a mesmerizing grand finale by none other than the international sensation, Michael Cinco from Dubai. 

Rajiv Kapoor, General Manager of Fairmont Jaipur, exclaimed, "As the hub for the grandest of events, Fairmont Jaipur had the honor to host The Fashion Connect Season 15 show. Hosting iconic events in style has always been our motto; experiential luxury starts in every detail, and at Fairmont Jaipur, every guest takes back memories to last them a lifetime." 

He further added, "Fashion Connect Season 15 at Fairmont Jaipur was grander and larger than life, with leading fashion designers headlining and adding to the charm of this palatial palace." 

The Nosh at Fashion Connect brought the world on a plate, with cuisines ranging from Mediterranean delectables to divine oriental small plates and flavoursome Indian dishes. The food couture was curated to complement Fashion Connect through embellishment of plates and artistic cooking techniques by the highly experienced Chef's Brigade. 

Fashion Connect Season 15 featured the dynamic Rishee Miglani as the brand ambassador and the talented Lokesh Sharma as the show director. The evening left an indelible mark on attendees and concluded with an exclusive after-party hosted at the opulent outdoor lawns within Fairmont Jaipur. 

Attended by a decorated guest list of art, craft, fashion, and opulence enthusiasts, Fashion Connect Season 15 was an unforgettable showcase of creative inspiration that reflected the future of glamour in Jaipur. 

International Ganesh Festival 2023 to showcase of Maharashtra's illustrious heritage

The International Ganesh Festival is about the soul of Maharashtra, the heartbeat of its people, and the spirit of a nation aiming for self-reliance,,,

The Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, proudly unveils a festival that will redefine global cultural celebrations – the International Ganesh Festival 2023. Scheduled between September 18th and 28th, this 10-day extravaganza will encapsulate the vibrant cities of Mumbai, Pune, Ratnagiri, and Palghar, setting the stage for a grand showcase of Maharashtra's illustrious heritage. Selected travel trade, media and social media influencer participants will be hosted for a familiarisation tour at these locations to experience first hand the glory and grandeur of the festival along with international tourists.

Destinations earmarked for the festival are not mere locations but hold the key to Maharashtra's deep-rooted history and traditions. The revered Siddhivinayak Temple, the bustling shores of Girgaon Chowpatty, the magnificent Tulsi Bagh Ganesh Pandal, and the historical edifice of Shaniwar Wada are just the beginning of this enchanting journey. Attendees will also be introduced to the intricate Warli Art through hands-on workshops, marvel at the architectural wonders of Kelva and Shirgaon Forts, and find spiritual solace at the Ganpatipule Temple. The majestic Ratnadurg Fort and Thiba Rajwada further weave the tale of Maharashtra's royal past.

In a grand effort to encapsulate the soul of Maharashtra and offer travelers an experience unlike any other, a special Cultural Hub will be established at the iconic Gateway of India, centered around the divine presence of Lord Ganesha. The highlights of the Cultural Hub promise an extravaganza for the senses: the intricate beauty of Sand Art, Mosaic Art, and Scroll Art; the mesmerizing spectacle of Projection Mapping on the majestic facade of the Gateway of India; riveting cultural performances that narrate tales of the land; hands-on workshops that plunge participants into the world of Maharashtra’s artistry; expansive Art and Craft exhibitions; and a firm commitment to sustainable practices and community engagement, ensuring that the Cultural Hub not only celebrates but also respects and conserves the traditions it stands for.

Shri. Girish Mahajan, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, expressed, "The International Ganesh Festival isn't just about pomp and grandeur. It's about the soul of Maharashtra, the heartbeat of its people, and the spirit of a nation aiming for self-reliance. We are on the cusp of presenting to the world an unparalleled tapestry of culture, art, and resilience. Through this festival, we hope to magnify our state's and our country's unique treasures on a global stage."

Smt. Radhika Rastogi, Principal Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, enthused, "This festival is our clarion call to the world, signalling them to join us at the intersection of ancient traditions and modern celebrations. Through the International Ganesh Festival, we aim to extend an invitation to global travelers, enthusiasts, and connoisseurs of culture to immerse themselves in Maharashtra's vast and profound legacy."

All are invited to join in this 10-day cultural symphony, where history meets the present, traditions embrace modernity, and where every moment is a celebration.

Battling for Water campaign by WaterAid India aimed at access to water for everyone, everywhere

With the aim of reminding the youth and urban India, - water saved is water produced, the WaterAid India launched the 2023 edition of the ‘Batting For Water’ Campaign to ensure full access to clean drinking water in every home, the campaign strives to support women and young girls in rural India. In recent years, rural India witnessed substantial public investment through the government in the form of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) which aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all rural households by 2024. To have a long lasting impact complementing efforts are required by other stakeholders like private sector, individual citizens, students in schools, colleges to make this a movement owned by everyone everywhere to achieve the dream of 100% water access in a sustainable way...!

After gaining remarkable success in 2021, the ‘Batting For Water’ campaign is continuing its momentum this year as well, emphasising the need for citizens of India to play their role by linking this movement with the great game of cricket, thereby regarding it as similar to playing with a partial bat. Just as a triumph in cricket necessitates the complete bat, so do the aspirations of individuals living in marginalised communities, particularly women and young girls in rural areas hinge upon 100% access to "water". In a nation that has 17.7% of the global population and has only 4% of global freshwater resources, there exists a dire need to address the challenges faced by those who lack full access to clean water by uniting people to attain a shared goal – “Har Ghar Jal”. Collaborations with renowned cricketers and celebrities generated substantial public involvement during the previous campaign. This year's efforts also seek to join forces with such notable figures especially when India is hosting the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to sensitise the masses and boost active participation to save water through better practices – we need to dedicate this World Cup to a spirit of our collective efforts to compliment the movement of water access to every household. This movement is to remind the public that “water saved is water produced”.  

Looking forward to another year of the campaign and showing enthusiasm about its continued impact, Vikas Kataria, Director of Resource Mobilisation and Communications, WaterAid India, said, "WaterAid India takes immense pride that our endeavours align seamlessly with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal - Safe & Affordable Water to All. With the 'Batting For Water' campaign, we seek to build unity and gain unwavering support from every individual to come forward and align harmoniously with the objective of achieving 100% access to water across the nation through responsive water habits. We believe that access to clean and safe water resources closer to habitation holds the potential to transform lives and uplift the dignity of individuals belonging to the rural community and help build our nation." 

He further added, “The organisation is committed to ensuring safe and equitable access to drinking water for marginalised and vulnerable communities. Through the implementation of community-based piped water supply systems, water quality testing and monitoring, rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge structures, water recycling and the installation of hygiene facilities in schools, urban areas, and villages, WaterAid India is effecting lasting change for millions across the country. The government has achieved great success by taking important strides in this regard over the last few years and it is important that those efforts are complimented by other stakeholders.”

The ‘Batting For Water’ campaign represents a unique opportunity for our cricketers who are celebrated in India and for the change-makers, influencers, and our citizens across the nation to make a tangible difference by taking action towards responsible water usage within their own domains. Through this innovative approach, people can collaborate to achieve the seemingly impossible and empower every rural household for a long lasting, equitable access to drinking water and a dignified life. Together, we can ensure that clean water is not only a basic human right but also a potent weapon in the battle for public health.

Adolescents & Youth at risk, OTT programs are replete with tobacco scenes influence them

The most shocking reality is that 12-16-year-old adolescents who watched scenes of their stars on the OTT were 2-3 times more likely to try smoking," revealed Dr. Uma Kumar, Professor at AIIMS, Delhi...

Dr. Shekhar Mande, National President of Vigyan Bharati, an RSS-affiliated organization, has emphasized the critical importance of implementing tobacco warnings on Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms. He stated that this initiative is not only scientifically justified but also culturally necessary. This was echoed by Mr. Priyank Kanungo, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), who firmly asserted that efforts to make tobacco use attractive on OTT platforms will not be permitted to succeed. He further announced that 10 lakh school students across the country will actively promote awareness in this regard. Distinguished educationists and public health experts also lauded the introduction of tobacco warnings, highlighting their pivotal role in safeguarding the health of children and youth.

On May 31st, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) introduced regulations mandating tobacco warnings on OTT platforms, which came into effect on September 1st. However, while these rules are now in force, the government is still in the process of addressing concerns raised by the OTT industry, with potential accommodations expected soon.

Dr. Shekhar Mande, President of Vijnana Bharati and Former Director General of CSIR, emphasized the robust scientific evidence supporting tobacco control measures and their indispensable role in safeguarding citizens' health. He stated, “Scientific research unambiguously underscores tobacco's detrimental health impact. Equally robust is the evidence supporting the efficacy of tobacco control measures. Embracing these measures is our collective responsibility to safeguard our citizens. The Government of India, driven by its commitment to citizen welfare, has taken a commendable step by introducing warnings on OTT content. In instances where tobacco-related scenes are depicted on OTT series or movies, health spots will reinforce the message of potential hazards.”

Dr. Mande, recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, India's highest science award, noted, "Scientific research backs this initiative, demonstrating how various entertainment platforms can inadvertently promote tobacco products."

During a webinar hosted by Tobacco Free India, a group of concerned citizens, a panel of distinguished speakers gathered to discuss the critical issue of tobacco glamorization on OTT platforms. The discussion, titled "Countering Tobacco Glamorization for a Healthier Next-Generation," examined the impact of tobacco imagery on young minds and the role of new regulations in addressing this concern.

The panel, featuring notable experts in the fields of healthcare, child rights, and science, also included Mr. Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR); Dr. Surekha Kishore, First Executive Director of AIIMS Gorakhpur; Dr. Uma Kumar, Founder Head of the Rheumatology Department at AIIMS Delhi; and Dr. Shyama Chona, a prominent educationist, Padma Bhushan awardee, and Founder-President of the Tamana Association.

NCPCR Chairperson Urges Early Implementation of Restrictions on Tobacco Scenes on OTT

Mr. Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson of NCPCR, voiced his strong support for the earliest possible implementation of restrictions on tobacco scenes on OTT platforms. He underscored the vulnerability of youth to the glamorization of tobacco and emphasized the need for proactive measures. Mr. Kanoongo stated, "Our young population remains especially vulnerable to the glamorization of tobacco. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey reveals that over half of students notice anti-tobacco messages in mass media. Our unwavering responsibility is to protect them from the harmful allure of tobacco." He announced that 10 lakh children across the country will commence an awareness campaign through Prahari Clubs established in schools nationwide.

Tobacco Epidemic Claims 13.5 Lakh Lives, OTT Rules Essential for Saving Lives: Dr. Surekha Kishore

Dr. Surekha Kishore, First Executive Director of AIIMS Gorakhpur, emphasized the critical role of tobacco warning rules for OTT platforms. Highlighting the alarming statistics of tobacco-related deaths, she noted, "In India, around 1.35 million lives are lost to tobacco-related diseases every year. This staggering figure underscores the pressing need for unified efforts against the tobacco epidemic. In recent years, OTT platforms have emerged as a powerful medium of entertainment for millions. Their responsibility cannot be underestimated. It's vital for the entertainment industry to embrace its role in shaping perceptions and influencing choices."

Prominent educationist Shyama Chona, recipient of India's highest civilian awards, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, stressed that when the question concerns the lives and health of millions of children, the OTT industry should prioritize children's future over profits. She asserted that it is the industry's responsibility to provide wholesome entertainment to its viewers, and they cannot shirk this responsibility.

Dr. Uma Kumar, Founder Head of the Rheumatology Department at AIIMS Delhi and recipient of the National Award for Science Communication by the President of India, also wholeheartedly supported the comprehensive and immediate implementation of OTT regulations. She highlighted that these rules are a welcome step by the government, especially in safeguarding children's health. The industry should wholeheartedly embrace them.

Supratip Bhattacharya and Parikshita Deka's groundbreaking entry into the world of music

Nipun qualified from the 'Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyalaya' Parikshita Deka and the Singer, composer Supratip Bhattacharya rose among the thousands of contestants to win the Hipi GOAT 2 singing challenge. They emerged as shining stars, captivating audiences with unparalleled vocal prowess and distinct artistic expression. This victory not only marks a personal triumph for Supratip Bhattachraya and Pratiksha Deka, but also signifies a groundbreaking entry into the world of music.,..

The spotlight has shone brightly on musical brilliance, Hipi G.O.A.T. 2, singing challenge on Hipi, as it culminated with emergence of many a fresh talent onto the digital stage. The resounding success of Hipi G.O.A.T. 2 underscores its unparalleled capacity to create life-changing opportunities for exceptional musical talents across India.

Guided by the remarkable Palak Muchhal, a true luminary of the music industry, Hipi G.O.A.T. 2 unfolded as a journey of discovery, passion, and artistry. The contest celebrated the boundless talent of Indian music creators and provided them with a unique platform to highlight their vocal gifts. The extraordinary numbers of participants, and the video views during this journey testify to the extraordinary impact that Hipi G.O.A.T. 2 has had on the musical landscape.

GBS Bindra, Chief Business Officer at Hipi said, "Hipi G.O.A.T. 2 has been an amazing journey, showcasing the diverse and exceptional musical talents that India has to offer. The massive participation and the overwhelming response reaffirm our commitment to providing a platform that empowers creators and nurtures their talents. We are immensely proud of the impact this contest has had on the lives of talented individuals."

With an astounding 350,000+ video submissions and 1.2 billion cumulative video views, Hipi G.O.A.T. 2 succeeded in bringing voices from every corner of the nation. Participants from across the country showcased their musical talent creating a tapestry of harmonious melodies.

Throughout the journey, Hipi G.O.A.T. 2 remained steadfast in its commitment to nurturing creativity. Mentorship and duet opportunities with the illustrious Sireesha Bhagavatula, coupled with cash prizes, celebrated the journey of every participant and winner, solidifying Hipi's reputation as a platform that changes lives.

The grand winner's triumphant moment was crowned with the opportunity to record an original song for a music video, a collaboration set to be launched by the esteemed Zee Music Company. This victory is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the potential of platforms like Hipi to shape the future of the music industry.

Parikshita Deka is a multi-talented vocalist hailing from Guwahati, Assam. With the prestigious Nipun qualification from the 'Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyalaya', Parikshita was widely celebrated as she clinched the title of gold medalist and emerged as a top 6 contestant on the music reality show SA RE GA MA PA, 2018, on Zee TV. Parikshita Deka's journey is a testament to her musical brilliance and unyielding dedication, inspiring music enthusiasts across the nation.

Supratip has not one but multiple feathers to his cap. From being a playback singer, composer, lyricist, performer to a music director, he's indeed an all-rounder. Supratip's journey begins from the well know reality show Zee Bangla's 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa',2017 as a participant and the finalist. During the show he made his Tollywood debut as a playback singer to director, Raj Chakraborty's movie "Champ". As a music director his debut movie "Kulpi" became the talk of the town upon releasing on 29th July 2022.

Hipi, is a short-video platform that brings together moments of joy, inspiration, and discovery. The platform empowers brands and merchants to harness the power of storytelling and product discovery in an industry-changing, retail marketing environment. 

Remarkable women entrepreneurs at ABWCI & WIN's - Breaking the Glass Ceiling: The Anecdotes of Impact

Inspiring talks by accomplished women pioneers narrating their journeys filled with determination and fearlessness, by by women leader Naina Ruhail (Founder and Co-CEO, Vanity Wagon), Pushpanjali Chawla (Author and Entrepreneur), Aastha Goel (Author), Pooja Bagrecha (Founder, Amayra Jewellery) Sonal Malhotra (Entrepreneur) and Harpreeth Suri (Influencer) was the highlight of this engaging event moderated by Stuti Jalan (Founder WIN)...

The Association of Business Women in Commerce & Industry (ABWCI) and Women Inspiring Network (WIN), an inspirational storytelling network organized a panel discussion titled "Breaking the Glass Ceiling – The Anecdotes of Impact." The initiative under the aegis of the G20/W20 Secretariat and ABWCI’s initiative  #WomenInVyapaar  brought together remarkable women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds to share their unfiltered stories. The panel discussion was a W20 Jan Bhagidari event powered by Women Inspiring Network (WIN) with support from Think through Consulting (TTC).   

Dr. Ambika Sharma, CEO of ABWCI, "We are thrilled with the response to our debut panel session for #WomenInVyapar. Every woman who graced our panel was the epitome of empowerment and leadership, and the women of today who are heading on the journey to be the leaders of tomorrow. We are grateful to each of them who shared and inspired us with their motivational stories of their journey. We hope to organize more such discussions where women inspire other women and create an environment that encourages gender equality and inclusive business practices." 

Stuti Jalan, Founder of Women Inspiring Network (WIN), said, “It was an encouraging affair where the women spoke their hearts out and inspired other women with their inspirational stories. We are proud that WIN was a part of such an engaging initiative by ABWCI and offer our humble gratitude to the team. We are sure that initiatives like these will bring a ray of hope, encouragement, and desire among women to be the leaders of their dreams”. 

Harpreeth Suri, Influencer, shares her thoughts, “I was a part of this fantastic Panel yesterday discussing Gender inequality, economic empowerment and work life balance etc. These were some of the most important topics that were put on the table during this insightful discussion. Women across the panels shared their inspiring stories, which led to soo much learning for all. It was a great learning session that definitely gave all an insight into the lives of today’s women who is in command and yet she has real struggles & challenges and we also shared our experiences of overcoming these and our journey of breaking the glass ceiling”. 

The event witnessed prominent women entrepreneurs and leaders from diverse sectors like Naina Ruhail (Founder and Co-CEO, Vanity Wagon), Pushpanjali Chawla (Author and Entrepreneur), Aastha Goel (Author), Pooja Bagrecha (Founder, Amayra Jewellery) Sonal Malhotra (Entrepreneur) and Harpreeth Suri (Influencer), who shared their inspiring stories of determination, growth, and resilience.  

The panel discussion not only provided a platform for sharing anecdotes and experiences to the women leader but also contributed to the shared vision of the G20/W20 Secretariat, ABWCI, and WIN to promote gender equality and women's participation in the economy.  

The event also marked the launch of “I AM WHERE I AM”, an online dialogue series that aims to amplify the voices of women entrepreneurs who have broken barriers and achieved excellence in their respective fields