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Inspirations 2013 - About

About Inspirations

Inspirations 2013 is presented by the Tagore Anniversary Celebrations Committee of Toronto (TACCT), a collective of artists, educators and engaged citizens based in Toronto. During 2010-11, we came together to create and present public events to commemorate Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary.
With Inspirations, our aim is to celebrate those aspects of Tagore’s vision that are universal and contemporary. 
The fundamental equality between all human beings, the need to resist all forms of injustice, and the infinite possibility of deepening our understanding of each other and fostering solidarity within and beyond borders – these are some of Tagore's values.
Tagore saw the arts as a powerful medium of social change which enables us to reach new heights of creative self-expression where everyone can come together – irrespective of language, identity, race, nationality or religion. 
Inspirations is our effort to celebrate these values. 
Below are the profiles of  the core members of  Tagore Anniversary Celebrations Committee of Toronto (TACCT). But the TACCT community is much larger than this - as envisioned by Tagore, our organization is an open forum, where hundreds of citizens bring their talent, commitment and vision and strive collectively to create a more inclusive, less unequal Canada.
Manasi Adhikari, Founding-Director, Geetanjali School of Music: Manasi Adhikari was born, raised and educated in Santinekatan, where Rabindranath Tagore founded the Viswa Bharati University. Since her childhood, she was trained in Tagore’s genre of music under the tutelage of great exponents in this field. Adhikari received her Bachelor of Music degree from Calcutta University and was the recipient of a gold medal. She also received the prestigious All India President’s Scholarship for two years from the Government of India for advanced graduate work in music. Adhikari was a regular artist of All India Radio and the HMV Recording Company. As a Scholarship holder, she completed her M.Ed. degree and Special Education Specialist qualification from the University of Manitoba and served different school boards across Canada for 35 years. Adhikari founded the Geetanjali Music School in Toronto and Waterloo in 1989. She continues to perform across Canada and the United States.
Adhikari is an established leader and exponent of a distinctive community of artistic practice embedded in the work of Rabindranath Tagore.  Under her direction, Geetanjali has trained several hundreds of students since its inception in 1989 and has staged several major productions of Tagore’s work.
Professor Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, York University: Ananya is a well-known scholar of critical social science, focusing primarily on South Asia and issues of gender justice. She is also the Founding-Director of the International Secretariat for Human Development (ISHD) at York University. Under her direction, ISHD has worked with major international organizations like the UNDP, ILO, UNOPS as well as community organizations from Latin America and India. She is inspired by Tagore’s vision of interpreting the university as not just an institution but an engaged social actor. Its task is not only to produce and disseminate knowledge – but to foster non-exclusionary ways of producing knowledge, and to open up potential alternative practices. Her most recent book Human Development and Social Power: Perspectives from South Asia, (Routledge, London and New York 2008; distributed by Cambridge University Press in South Asia) also draws on Tagore’s vision of social equality and human dignity. Appearing frequently in the media, she has been writing and presenting widely on Tagore in print and electronic media and public forums since 2010. Her current research focuses on the largest women's movement in Asia. 

Kathleen M. O’Connell, Lecturer, University of Toronto: Kathleen is an internationally renowned Tagore scholar. She has an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata, 1965), and Ph.D. in Indian Cultural History (Toronto, 1995). She teaches courses on Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray at New College, University of Toronto. Her publications include: Rabindranath Tagore: The Poet as Educator (Calcutta:Visva-Bharati, 2002); Bravo Professor Shonku. Translation (Bengali to English) of stories by Satyajit Ray (New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 1985); Rabindranath Tagore: Facets of a Cultural Icon Issue, special issue of University of Toronto Quarterly (edited jointly with Joseph O’Connell) and many others.
Dipak Adhikari, Geetanjali School of Music: Dipak Ranjan Adhikari has served in several capacities in the corporate sectors of India and Canada. From 1987 until he retired, Dipak worked for Siemens Canada as a corporate controller in manufacturing divisions in Ontario. Dipak has also served in different community organizations in various capacities. He was a standing member of the Lions Club, Manitoba chapter and was actively involved in many charitable community projects. Dipak brought many communities together as a chairperson of the Canada Day Celebration Committee for three years in the city of Brandon, Manitoba. He also served as president of Indo Canadian Friendship Association and the Prairie Film Club for several years. Since 1989, Dipak has been the President of Geetanjali Music and Dance Group of Ontario and has pursued its mission to create a cultural forum for local talent amongs the Indo-Canadian community. 

Ambassador Kant K Bhargava, (Retd.): Ambassador Kant Bhargava served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1958-92. He is a former Secretary General of The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He was High Commissioner of India to Mauritius from 1986-1989 and was instrumental in organizing there Indian Ocean Cultural Festival. After his retirement in 1992, he served as President of the Association of Indian Diplomats in 1998, on the Governing Body of the Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER) from 1996-1999, and as International Advisor to the South Asian Centre for Policy Studies, Kathmandu. He also served as Consultant to the German Political Foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung of Social Democrats, New Delhi from 1992-1998. He became a permanent resident of Canada in 1998. In conjunction with Dr. Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, Professor, York University, Toronto, he completed in 2002 a Study titled Human Development, Human Security and Regional Collaboration in South Asia for use of the Canadian International Development Agency. He has served as a Member of the Canadian Advisory Council of Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. He worked for three years 2006-2009 as Fellow, Centre for the Study of Democracy, Queen’s University, Kingston. He also participated in summit meetings of Asia Pacific Foundation Canada and in Canada-India Policy Dialogue between it and the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He is currently the Honorary Advisor, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Fahim Quadir:  Dr.Quadir is an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and an Associate Professor of Social Science and Development Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. He specializes in international development, International Relations and international political economy. His current research focuses on aid effectiveness, Southern donors, good governance, civil society, migration and development, micro-finance, trans-border social movements for peace, human security, and human development.

Dipak Mazumdar, Professor, University of Toronto: Dipak Mazumdar has had a long academic career in teaching at several Universities. These include the LSE in London and the University of Toronto. He spent a number years in the research Department of the World Bank, and has published widely in Development and Labour Economics. He has had a life long interest in the arts, especially in poetry. He has a volume of translations of Tagore’s late poems from Bengali into English (A Poet`s Death, Rupa, 2004) and also of selected poems of Baudelaire, from French into Bengali (Nandimukh, Kolkata, 2nd Edition, 2004).
Pauline Mazumdar, Professor Emeritus, History of Medicine, University of Toronto: Pauline earned her M.B.,B.S., (London, 1958), M.Tech., Immunology (Brunel, 1974) and Ph.D. in the History of Medicine (Johns Hopkins, 1976). She has authored books and papers on the history of immunology, eugenics and human genetics, as well as, the history of standardization. She is a Member of the American Association for the History of Medicine, the European Academy for Standardization and the Riverdale Farm Advisory Council, City of Toronto. Her hobbies include painting, photography and history of art. She is an avid lover of all things Tagore.
Uttam Chakrabarti, Director, Toronto-Calcutta Foundation: Uttam Chakrabarti is one of the founding members of The Toronto-Calcutta Foundation (TCF), a registered charity both in Canada and India. He has been a member of the International Board since 1988 and holding various positions and is currently Director of the Foundation. With the help of many he has made TCF a recognizable name in Canada. He also served on the Advisory Board for the Faculty of Business Management Administration, University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus. During his tenure Mr. Chakrabarti contributed his time and energy to the Co-Op programs of Business Management by hiring and coaching students. For the past two years he has been a member of the Funding Committee for the Toronto United Way. Along with other members Mr. Chakrabarti evaluates the funding requests from various NGOs for their effectiveness and the delivery of worthwhile programs. 

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