Shyamhari Chakra

BHUBANESWAR: These bankers do not confine themselves to currencies and commerce. They pursue a passion for promotion of culture as well. Welcome to "Ninad", the seven-year-old cultural organisation floated by the staff and their family members of the State Bank of India here.

Lone initiative

Known as the lone initiative of its kind in the country by the bankers, it was the outcome of a few of its people for whom music matters everything.

""Our bank used to organise an annual national level cultural competition among the children of the employees that was disrupted in 1996. We were so passionately involved in it that we resolved to do something similar for our State. And that was the humble beginning," recollected "Ninad" founder-secretary B.N.Kar, a trained classical singer.

The other founder members of the forum were its present president K.C.Ramdurai, an amateur actor, popular keyboard player Barada Patnaik and singers Dolly Mahali and Mamata Das.

"Ninad" was launched in 2001 and its first programme was an in-house music concert during the bank’s annual Rajbhasa week celebrations. And there has not been a looking back. "In seven years, we have hosted about 70 shows with our 75-member troupe that comprise our staff and their family members who are gifted with any kind of artistic talent," Mr.Kar informed.

The forum takes pride in some of its members like popular singer Tapu Mishra, child artiste and singer Sweta Mishra and Sambalpuri singer Bibhuti Patnaik. It has also roped in eminent film personalities like Sadhu Meher, Aparajita Mohanty and Mihir Das as its well-wishers who attend Ninad’s annual celebrations and interact with the members, the president said.

The organisation has expended its activities to far off towns of Orissa by organising annual cultural competitions like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak, classical and semi-classical music. "We are now ready to host programmes for the public", Mr.Kar said.