Sourav Ganguly, affectionately known as Dada (elder brother) is an Indian cricket administrator, commentator and former national cricket team captain who is the 39th and current president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He is honoured as Maharaja of `Indian Cricket. During his playing career, Ganguly established himself as one of the world’s leading batsmen and also one of the most successful captains of the Indian national cricket team. Currently, he is the 8th highest run scorer in One Day Internationals (ODIs) and was the 3rd batsman in history to cross the 10,000 run landmark, after Sachin Tendulkar and Inzamam Ul Haq. In 2002, the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack ranked him the sixth greatest ODI batsman of all time. Ganguly joined the Kolkata Knight Riders team as captain for the Indian Premier League Twenty 20 cricket tournament in 2008. The same year, after a home Test series against Australia, he announced his retirement from international cricket. He continued to play for the Bengal team and was appointed the chairman of the Cricket Association of Bengal’s Cricket Development Committee. Ganguly was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004, one of India’s highest civilian awards, and awarded with the Bangla Bibhushan Award in 2013. He is currently a part of the Supreme Court of India appointed Justice Mudgal Committee probe panel for the IPL Spot fixing and betting scandal’s investigations.
Dr Alok Roy is the founder of one of eastern India’s most reputed chain of hospitals, the Medica Group of Hospitals. A former Nuclear Cardiologist from AIIMS, New Delhi, Dr Roy was voted as one of ‘The 20 top most influential healthcare professionals of India’ by Indian Express in 2011. Roy contributed to establish numerous healthcare facilities across the country like Fortis Healthcare in Noida, BM Birla Heart Institute in Kolkata, Manipal Heart Foundation (Bangalore), Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (Kolkata) and Narayana Hrudayalaya (Bangalore), to name a few. The Integrated Telemedicine and Tele-health Project (ITTP) and the Yeshasvini Health Insurance Scheme are ventures implemented by him. Roy served as the President (a first-ever from the healthcare industry) of the prestigious Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) a 150 year old Institution. His recent contributions include ‘Nation requires pre-emptive approach’ and a robust vaccination plan to combat the third wave and the vision for 2030 that will be more holistic, where hospitals must be sectoral.
Australia based writer and producer, Bina Bhattacharya was born on July 10, 1986 in Sydney. She is known for her work in Here Out West (2022), Musings (2018) and Wild Dances (2017). The award-winning filmmaker, writer-producer-director from Campbelltown in southwest Sydney credits her distinctive voice and sensitivity to cross-cultural issues with growing up with two cultures: being exposed to Satyajit Ray and 80s Bollywood through her Indian father, opera and Australian folk music through her Australian mother and by attending a multicultural public school in Sydney’s West. She runs her own production company, Gemme de la Femme Pictures, which produces showreel pieces for diverse actors, as well as corporate videos. Her short film ‘Musings’ at Sydney’s Made in the West Film Festival received Best Screenplay, and the 2017 short film ‘Wild Dances’ won the Audience Choice Award a year prior. ‘Wild Dances’ was also a Finalist for the ‘My Queer Career’ Short Film Competition as part of the Mardi Gras Film Festival, and screened at a number of international festivals in the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic and Ukraine. In 2018, she was one of five directors selected by the Australian Directors’ Guild for the inaugural Diversity Showcase, which was produced with the backing of the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance Equity Foundation, the Australian Writers’ Guild, the ADG and Screen Australia.
Dr Tushar Kanti Pandit is Gold Medalist and an expert in folk culture and Indian regional history, from Bardhaman University, India. He completed his PhD in Bengali literature and Tevaga movement, and is a visiting lecturer in leading Universities in India. His book “Katwar Itihas o Sanskriti” has received critical acclaim from the likes of Goutam Ghosh, our Ambassador, and an award-winning director, who also wrote the preface to his book. His other works include “Sei Nakchabita” “Bohiche Anandadhara” “Ami Jamin Tumi Sashi He” among others. He has been the Secretary of Katwa Boimela for the past 25 years and is respected for his contributions in the Bardhaman District Mass Education and library movement for the past three decades.
Kolkata Police’s South Traffic Guard constable Arup Mukherjee is called ‘Shobor Pita’ for supporting Purulia’s Shabor children, involved in social work for more than a decade now, and he has been doing this in silence. He invested his entire life’s savings to set up a residential school for children of the Shabor tribe in his village, Puncha, in Manbazar area of Purulia district. He now looks after the education, accommodation, clothing, and food of 126 such children, free of cost. As lockdown was announced following the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, Mukherjee rushed back to his village with essential provisions for roughly 4,000 Shobor families, who would otherwise starve to death. Mukherjee’s commendable work has not gone unnoticed and he has been selected for the global award, ‘Bravo International Book of World Records’ at Sharjah. He set up the Puncha Nabadisha Model School way back in 2011. Starting with 15 children, the school has grown into an institution that provides education to 112 children aged between 4 and 15. The Shabors are one of the Adivasi communities who live mainly in Odisha and West Bengal. During the British Raj, they were classed as one of the ‘criminal tribes’ under Criminal Tribes Act 1871, and still suffer from social stigma and ostracism in modern times. Mukherjee would harp the words, ‘Send your children to study if you do not want their plight to be like yours.’ And that struck a chord.
Dr Jayanta Biswas (popularly known as Dr JB) is a Prague based board certified Doctor recognised under the Medical council of India and the Medical Council of the Czech Republic, European Union. He is also a qualified Nutritionist, Certified Fitness trainer and Bodybuilding instructor recognised by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in Czech Republic. Dr JB has been serving people from the different continents integrating his 17 years of understanding of medical science, fitness, nutrition and helping people (including celebrities, supermodels and pro-athletes from India and Europe) to achieve their fitness goals. If you would like to lose weight and get fit and you are looking for a qualified health coach who can guide your nutrition, fitness, exercise and healthy habit regime, you are at the right place.
Ananthan Barman is a Bengali from Siliguri. After finishing school, he decided to travel overseas to learn culinary arts from the best. He at the Dimension International College, Singapore and did a course in pastry baking at the Shatec International College, Singapore. He decided to move to Australia for better opportunities and to share his skills with a diverse diaspora. He is now a permanent resident in Australia and one of the lead bakers of the renowned Breadfern Bakery. Ananthan kept developing the art of western style baking and improvised it with Indian flavours. During the Christmas gathering at The Governor Hotel in Macquerie Park, Anthan surprised the guests with his mouthwatering Christmas log, mango-coconut lamington and sourdough from Breadfern bakery. “You don’t have to love cooking to cook, but you have to do more than love baking to bake. You have to bake out of love” says Anthan.
Popularly known as Sheikh Mujib or Mujib, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Bangladeshi politician, statesman and the Founding Father of Bangladesh. He served as the first President, and later as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1971 to 1975. Mujib is credited with leading the successful campaign for Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. He is revered in Bangladesh with the honorific title of “Bangabandhu” (friend of Bengal) which is used around the world. He was a founding member and eventual leader of the Awami League, founded in 1949 as an East Pakistan – based political party in Pakistan. Mujib is considered to have been a fundamental figure in the efforts to gain political autonomy for East Pakistan and later as the central figure behind the Bangladesh Liberation Movement and the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. Mujib became the Prime Minister of Bangladesh under a parliamentary system adopted by the new country. He charged the provisional parliament to write a new constitution proclaiming the four fundamental principles of “nationalism, secularism, democracy, and socialism”, which reflect his political views collectively known as Mujibism. His daughter Sheikh Hasina is the current leader of the Awami League and currently serves as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
Rezwana Choudhury Bannya is an award-winning and respected Bangladeshi singer and academic. She is regarded as a legendary Tagore singer by Tagore music aficionados and has won numerous awards including Bangladesh’s highest civilian award the Independence Day Award in 2016. Bannya is currently Professor and founding chair of the Department of Dance at the University of Dhaka. In 1992 she founded Shurer Dhara, a prestigious music school in Dhaka. with a focus on Ranbindra Sangeet. Bannya is currently Honorary Dean, Faculty of Performing Arts & Chairperson of Music Department of Tagore University of Creative Arts. In 2010, in order to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, she brought out a complete audio version of 2,233 songs in Tagore’s Gitobitan, which was titled Sruti Gitobitan. She received a scholarship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to study in Sangit Bhavana, Shantiniketan, the University founded by Tagore himself. She trained under Kanika Banerjie an in 2021 she completed her research on Rabindra Sangeet at the University of Dhaka, for which she received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Dr. Debashis Bhattacharya is a surgeon by training and entrepreneur by mindset. The Global Director of Human Risk Management at Reckitt has ushered in safety by design, end to end risk management and safety as a competitive advantage. He ushered in a new era with electronic patient information. He is Director of Research in Ikure, a multi award winning social enterprise in digital health and telemedicine, Senior Advisor in Prosperfit, that produces vernacular, non-promotional videos in the Fintech and Healthcare space and Founder of the Indian Arts Project for new artists. He supports projects by UKBC, Harmoniverse, Jaltarang, Essex Indians, London Chamber Orchestra, and Indian Raga London. He is chief sponsor of Vidushi Chandra Chakraborty and the Kalakar Arts, that brought to life paintings of renowned Bengali artists Hemen Mazumdar and Jamini Roy and supported Una Palliser, renowned violinist of the London Chamber Orchestra, Chandra Chakraborty and Saskia in a show called ‘Together in Love and Separation’
Paromita Goswami is the Founder of JalTarang Limited in the UK. The corporate professional in Transport for London, is a classical trained singer by the renowned Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty who explored the paradigm of the incredibly diversified Indian Art and Culture in the UK. She founded the organisation during the peak of the pandemic when artists were hugely suffering financially and loss of work. During that time she opened it as a digital platform and showcased different musical styles and documentaries on empowering Indian women. Globally acclaimed Rajasthani folk artists, Carnatic, Rabindra Sangeet, Hindustani classical artists took part in the productions and she gave them commercial opportunities as well Global exposure. The multi faceted Indian women took part in her musical documentaries and rape survivors, social activists, woman scientists speaking about their journey to outdo all the challenges. The cultural wings of the Ministry of India, Indian embassies across London, Netherlands, New York, Madrid and 18 Indian cultural centres across the globe supported her productions. Nehru Centre, Gandhi Centre -Hague, Consul General of India in New York co hosted Jaltarang’s production on their reputed platform. JalTarang Ltd commenced as a commercial venture partnering with Color TV UK, as media partner.
Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman, is the Chairman and Managing Director of ATN Bangla, the first satellite TV channel of Bangladesh and ATN News Ltd. Born in 1954 in a respectable Muslim family of Dinajpur, Dr. Rahman took part in the War of Liberation in 1971, when he was at the University of Dhaka. He made Bangladesh known to the world by winning an EMMY award for a children’s program produced by ATN Bangla. The international Academy of Television Arts and Science and UNICEF jointly gave the prestigious award to ATN Bangla for its program “Amrao Pari” (We can do it too). Dr. Rahman received the honorary Doctorate from Imperial College of University of London, for his extraordinary role in the field of media and communications. He established a firm named Friends International to export handicrafts and garments and was awarded president’s Export Trophy for his contribution to the garment industry, seven times. He founded the first private satellite TV channel ATN Bangla that started operations in Bangladesh to telecast news and programs in more than 150 countries.
T M Ahmed Kaysher is a poet, fiction-writer, film and literature critic and Director of the Saudha, Society of Poetry and Indian Music (www.saudha.org), one of the leading Indian classical and global music promoters in the UK. His poetry and prose are critically acclaimed for their new approach of weaving and new style of narrative. Apart from writing and promoting Indian classical music in the west, Kaysher has contributed to world music and introduced South Asian Arts to the global, predominantly western audiences, through world-class presentations and by making a bridge between different classical arts of the world. He has contributed significantly to introduce Bengali folk music on the world stage by hosting events and festivals in major mainstream venues as well as adapting, directing, performing and promoting new Bengali opera for global audiences. He is entirely devoted in the adaptation, direction, re-construction of myths, ritual, fables through production of Bengali rural theatre (opera/ballad) for a global audience along with his ongoing film-writing and directing projects. He is instrumental in curating festivals all around the UK, like the Baul and Vaishnav Music Festival, the Ghazal Thumri and Kheyal Festival, the Bangla Music Festival, the Gronthee International Poetry Festival and the Jibanananda Festivals.
iKure is the brainchild of Sujay Santra, who founded this company 11 years ago in response to the inadequacy of healthcare in the rural areas of Bengal. The pillars of iKure are Primary Healthcare Delivery, Technology Solutions and Research as a service. The company has so far touched about 14. 4 million people in India, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Oman, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia and Vietnam. IKure’s rapid response during the pandemic included aided Telemedicine, Awareness and Counselling, Disease Mapping, Mass Screening Camps, Isolation Centres and Vaccination Camps. They were one of the top 3 companies in the world selected by the UN Sustainability Group and presented at the United Nations virtual session ‘Building Back Better’ after COVID-19. They were selected as the Top 50 Last Mile Responders for COVID Response Alliance by the World Economic Forum in 2021-2022 and were selected by the Adani Foundation in the top 5 companies for sustainability. In 2022, they won the Businessworld Disrupt Social Impact Award and was selected as one of the top 16 social enterprises globally by the Miller Centre for social entrepreneurship. It has been selected as one of the top 10 incubatees for the ongoing Whatsapp Incubator program. iKure’s health management services span preventive, promotive and curative aspects of healthcare.
One of the most prominent and inspirational British Bangladeshi women, Dr Zaki Rezwana Anwar is a personality known for multi-faceted attributes such as medical and philanthropic contribution, alongside her illustrious media trajectory. After her MBBS, her London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Diploma and her Maternal and Child Health MSc at UCL, she was a selected Commonwealth Scholar for her PhD. Commended by Princess Margaret, her GlaxoSmithKline project with pregnant women featured on BBC 2. She improved maternal mortality rates with the Brazilian Government as ‘Action for Safe Motherhood’ co-founder and campaigned against FGM with Gambian NGOs. Guest Speaker at UNESCO, WHO and Asian Nutrition Congress, her work was published in BMJ, Lancet and European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Being crowned ‘Best Orator’ in National Debates and her National Institute of Mass Communications graduation makes her the only British Bangladeshi with such expertise. Henceforth emerged the epitome on Dhaka Radio, BBC World Service, Bangla TV, Channel S, All India Radio and Voice of America. Internationally the longest-serving female Bangladeshi newscaster, she became Eastwood Awards’ ‘Best Female Newscaster
Paul, who came to Kolkata in 2002 as a diplomat at the British Deputy Commission, fell in love with Kolkata and quit the service. He set up a rugby team -Jungle Crows in 2004 and hand-picked potential players from across Bengal, including Jangalmahal, and coached them in the game.nHe then founded the Khelo Rugby initiative, a social commitment that aims to touch the lives of the socially disadvantaged communities with the sport. Khelo Rugby , which has `right to play’ as its mission, has nearly 4,000 children in its fold, most of them from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. The philosophy behind the initiative is to enthuse children with passion through rugby that will then help them improve their lives. Under the Jungle Crows Foundation, the Khelo Rugby initiative also has provisions for scholarships, youth leadership programs, aid with employability, Rugby development and building critical partnerships. He received the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace for his contribution.
David Stanley, BEM MMus BMus PGCE NPQH CF FRSA is the Government’s Disability and Access Ambassador for Arts and Culture, the SEND Advisor for the National Plan for Music Education and the founder of ‘The Music Man Project’ – an award-winning international music education charity for people with learning disabilities. David reverses negative perceptions of a once-forgotten society through music. He has launched regional services across the UK and around the world, including South Africa, India, Nepal, the Philippines and America. David’s progress was presented by the Minister for Disabled People at the United Nations in New York. David’s musicians have performed at the London Palladium and Royal Albert Hall, entertained Royalty, broken a World Record and recorded with the Royal Marines. They regularly appear on TV and Radio, with Britain’s Got Talent’s Simon Cowell recently describing them as “like drinking a glass of happiness”. David’s next ambition is for his students to perform on Broadway and to establish a purpose-built global headquarters in the City of Southend, in tribute to Sir David Amess. David is also the National Plan for Music Education Advisor (UK Government), a Churchill Fellow, Paul Harris Fellow and a RSA Fellow