GUWAHATI, April 7 - London-based Srimanta Sankaradeva International Cultural Centre has appealed to the people of Assam to extend all sorts of support to it in setting up a community centre in London with an aim at spreading the tenets of Srimanta Sankaradeva. The centre is supposed to include an auditorium, a library, guest-rooms, a canteen etc.
According to Dr Karuna Sagar Das, founder of the Cultural Centre, though the other sections of the Indian diaspora living in the United Kingdom have their own institutions in that country, the Assamese diaspora of the UK are yet to have their own institution there.
Despite this, the Assamese people of the UK are celebrating Bihu etc., and have been trying to keep their mutual bonding intact from a hired office.
The issue of establishment of a centre to project Srimanta Sankaradeva in the UK has been discussed by these people since the UK visit of the then president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Kanak Sen Deka in 2005. In 2008, a committee was formed for the purpose and on August 3, 2011, the then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi assured of a financial support of Rs 25 lakh for the purpose of setting up the centre. The State government has so far released Rs 10 lakh for the purpose of setting up the centre, said Dr Das.
The present Cultural Affairs Minister of the State has also been approached by the committee members with a request for support and the Minister has assured them of taking up the issue with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The project of the centre envisioned by the committee requires an amount of Rs 25 crore. The committee has so far been able to collect ten thousand pounds from the Assamese people living in the UK. There are around 1,500 Assamese people and most of them are service holders, said Dr Das.
Meanwhile, the Indian National Chapter of the Srimanta Sankaradeva International Cultural Centre has been formed with noted publisher Surjya Hazarika as chairman and Lakshmi Goswami as president, said Dr Das.