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High on creativity: A soulful, artistic tribute to Smt Rajeshwari Paul 

The 5th Rajeshwari Kala Mahotsav was celebrated virtually on April 30 to honour the vision of the First Lady of the Apeejay Stya Group and recognise excellence in art and artists throughout the globe



It is art and art alone in its diverse eclectic forms that brings together society. Art acts as an abolisher of all differences and seeks to create a harmonious world by encouraging the latent human goodness and creativity. The Apeejay Education Group has always been aware of the power of art and has laid a special emphasis on the development of art and artists.  

Smt Rajeshwari Paul, the First Lady of the Apeejay Stya Group was herself an artist and had an ahead of time vision to include art in the education curriculum in order to facilitate the holistic development of students.

In remembrance of Smt Rajeshwari Paul and her vision towards arts and education, the Apeejay Stya Group annually celebrates the Rajeshwari Kala Mahotsav. The 5th Rajeshwari Kala Mahotsav was celebrated virtually on April 30. The mahotsav celebrates art and encourages all artists and art connoisseurs. It provides a platform to creative minds to showcase their talent. The Mahotsav promotes five art forms in particular namely music, dance, theater, fine arts and literature.

Dr Sucharita, Director Apeejay Education Society presented the welcome address. She graciously welcomed Madam Sushma Paul Berlia (Co-Promoter & President, Apeejay Stya & Svran Group), Padma Shri Hans Raj Hans (the iconic Sufi singer and member of Lok Sabha) and Dr. Sidharth (internationally acclaimed visual artist) the recipients of the Rajeshwari Kala Samman 2022 and the jury members Dr Jaspal (internationally acclaimed artist) and Mr Bhavani Katoch (noted painter and lithographer from Paris). It was followed by the virtual lighting of the lamp by Madam Sushma Paul Berlia, Dr Neerja Dhingra (Principal, Apeejay College of Fine Arts) and invited dignitaries.

Remembering the First Lady of the Apeejay Education Group, Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia mentioned that Smt Rajeshwari Paul was a true visionary who made an immense contribution to the society. She said that her mother had an avid interest in art and would often play the harmonium and sing as well. She was a figure who stood enthusiastically to promote all forms of art. Madam Sushma Paul Berlia mentioned, “All artists are givers of the passion that comes from the divine. It is through the artist’s creation that we see the various aspects of the divine”. She further stated, “Education is not possible without art. Many people have seen that music and math often go hand in hand. Thus it was very important to set up a centre that promotes art and artists. The Rajeshwari Kala Sangam reaches to all who wish to learn fine arts with a special focus on the specially abled.”

It was followed by the virtual release of the brochure for the international art exhibition.

 The Rajeshwari Kala Samman award 2022 was conferred upon Padma Shri Hans Raj Hans and Dr. Siddhartha as a tribute to their lifetime dedication to art and their endeavours to promote art and artists.

Padma Shri Hans Raj Hans thanked the Apeejay Education Society and applauded the vision of Dr. Stya Paul and Smt Rajeshwari Paul for the multidimensional development of student’s personality through art. He mentioned that “An artist while working goes into a divine state of mind and develops their artistic skill”.  He thereby encouraged all artists to engage in regular practice of their art form. He also regaled the audience with a soulful rendition of the Sufi song Suno Maharaj Jagat Ke Wali.

Dr Sidhartha in his address, mentioned how he is ever grateful to the almighty for being able to become an artist and paint the lord’s creation. He mentioned, “An artist is blessed by God. He is a karma yogi whose creation is enjoyed by all including the common public and the artist themselves.” He also reminisced how his mother would make colours from natural sources such as flowers and grass. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude towards his mother and acknowledged her role in his artistic initiation.

 The award ceremony was followed by a virtual tour of an international art exhibition that witnessed more than 250 entries from different parts of the world by professional artists and amateurs/students alike. Hundred best artworks were selected by the jury for the exhibition. The exhibition sought to promote the extraordinary ability, originality and dedication of artistic pursuits.

Madam Sushma Paul Berlia said she was enthralled by the range of paintings and art works on show. She stated, “Art is connected to the humane. Artists through their works sensitise people by making them more evolved which in turn helps make the world a better place.”

The Jury selected six outstanding works in the professional and the amateur categories.  Certificates and prize money of Rs. 31000 and Rs. 11000 respectively were given to the winners.

In the Professional Category, Jaspreet Singh and Dr Arjun Singh received the certificate of appreciation in the painting category while Mr. Chand Mohd and Mr. Rabi Narayan Gupta received the certificate in the drawing and graphics category respectively.  

 Awards winners in the professional category included Ms. Sobha Chodhary and Mr. Mangesh Narayanrao Kale for artworks ‘Women in waiting’ and ‘Klim’ in the painting category respectively. Mr. Rakesh Bani was awarded for his artwork ‘Man and motion’ in the print -making category.  

 In the amateur/student category. The certificates of appreciation were awarded to Harshal Khatri in the painting category, Kunj Arora in the photography category, Inderpreet Kaur in the sculpture category and Jasmeen Kaur in the Mix Media category.  

 The award winners in the amateur/student category included Andrasphera Kahrmawlong in the Mix-media category, Rachna Gopa Kumar for her work ‘Cats kill angler’ in the graphics category and Tarannum Gupta in the photography category for her work titled ‘Butterfly’.

 The event concluded with a musical performance on the motto of the group ‘Soaring high is my nature’. It gives all the message that life is like an art canvas, one must strive to fill all colours and make it a masterpiece.

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected].