The Gronthee celebrates Women’s Day through awarding & re-interpreting Begum Rokeya

The Gronthee, a South Asian literary platform in the UK, in collaboration with Saudha society of poetry and Indian music, a leading promoter of Indian classical and global music, as well as a British-Latin American-US literary magazine, La Ninfa Eco UK, are celebrating the International Women’s Day online on Sunday 7 March at 2pm (UK time).

The session will be streaming live from Gronthee Facebook page and Saudha’s YouTube page. The celebration entails talks on re-interpreting Begum Rokeya, a leading feminist of Bengal of 20th century, and discussion on other contemporary feminist issues, as well as presentation of music, poetry and reading from Begum Rokeya’s time-winning oeuvre. 


This event is awarding three phenomenal ladies for their unique contributions either in arts, politics, extraordinary journeys of life or glorious struggle against patriarchy.

Named as Begum Rokeya Award, this year’s recipients are Dr. Geetha Upadhyaya OBE, the co-founder of Kala Sangam for her epic role in preaching Indian arts in the UK, Kathak exponent from India, Nayanika Ghosh Chowdhury, for her indomitable journey in dance while fighting with cancer, and Salma Khaled from Bangladesh, the wife of the most courageous military leader of the liberation war of Bangladesh, Khaled Mosharraf Bir Uttom, for her unique struggle after the assassination of her husband. 

More than 31 speakers and performers are joining this virtual celebration and that include talks by the education minister of Bangladesh Dr Dipu Moni, vice-chancellor of Barisal university of Bangladesh, Prof Sadequl Arefin, a prominent journalist and film-maker, Gita Sahgal, writer and feminist, Dr Amrita Wilson, the former member of Parliament from Bangladesh Mahjabeen Khaled, Professor at Warwick University in the UK, Rashmi Varma, Professor at Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh, Mirza Taslima Sultana.

Anchored by the director of Saudha, poet T M Ahmed Kaysher, and coordinated by the editor of the Gronthee, poet Shamim Shahan, this session involves the presentation of spoken-word performances such as a Spain-based Latin American poet and feminist, Rosy Suñé, a US based artist, Mariam Tamborenea, a US-based playwright Nancy Guevara, a British Argentine poet, Gaby Sambuccetti, a Chilean writer, Carmen Berenguer, a Mexican editor and writer Claudia Posadas, a Singapore-based Indian poet, Nandini Mehra, a British-Ukranian poet and film maker, Vera Graziadei, a British Indian writer, Shree Ganguly, a Bengali poet Sebonti Ghosh, Professor Banani Chakraborty, a British Bengali poet Tanjina Nur E Siddique, elocutionists Swapna Dey from India, Sultana Yasmin from Bangladesh and Shaheen Mitul from the UK.

Also, Iranian musician Niknaz Mirghalami, a celebrated British-Indian vocalist and composer, Supriya Nagarajan, Hindustani semi-classical singer Sumana Mallik Basu, and a talented Bengali singer, Jessy Barua, will sing, while Kathak performer from India Maya Kulshreastha, Gaudiya Nritya, and a performer from Bangladesh Rachel Perris, a Spain-based Indian choreographer and a classical dancer Sohini Roychowdhury Dasgupta will join for dance performances.


  1. Girija Devi is a noted Indian classical vocalist belonging to the Banaras Gharana. For her expertise and contributions she has been regarded as the Queen of Thumri. However her proficiency encompasses both classical as well as light classical music.

    Girija Devi has also contributed significantly in enriching the Thumri genre of Indian classical music. She has graced numerous music concerts with her enchanting renditions. This illustrious classical vocalist has been honoured with many prestigious accolade.


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