"Seeds of Change" Exhibition at the Indian Museum, Kolkata, India
On December 11, 2006, the "Seeds of Change: The Earth Charter and Human Potential" exhibition was inaugurated at the Indian Museum in Kolkata by Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya. The exhibition was co-sponsored by Bharat (India) Soka Gakkai (BSG), UNICEF and the West Bengal Federation of United Nations Association (WEBFUNA).
Mayor Bhattacharya, together with Sabyasachi Chakraborty, a noted film actor and environmentalist, inaugurated the exhibition. Sitaram Sarma, WEBFUNA secretary, Naveena Reddi, BSG director-general and Akash K. Ouchi, SGI representative in India, were also present at the ceremony. This was followed by a screening of the film A Quiet Revolution that left everyone enthralled.
In his address at the inauguration, Mr Sarma said, "This exhibition will carry the message of sustainable development which means not only ecological preservation but also eradication of poverty and establishment of peace, development and human rights. Solution for peace lies in total disarmament and in this regard Soka Gakkai is playing a very important role." Mr. Chakraborty said, "'Seeds of Change,' the title of the exhibition, is the watchword and we have to sow the seeds of change, since the time has come where we have to realize what each individual can do."
Mr. Bhattacharya commented that people must not be silent spectators to what is going on around them. Rather they must take steps to change the situation. After the inauguration ceremony, BSG members performed an exhilarating Odissi dance. All guests to the inaugural function were presented saplings to plant and every school group was gifted a set of three saplings in a basket. Many teachers were so moved that they wanted the exhibition and the film to be taken to their schools.
Altogether 16,810 people saw the exhibition in Kolkata. The exhibition also traveled to eight schools. One school, South Point School, had a record attendance of 2,355 students in one day.
The exhibition was sponsored by many organizations--Samsung, Pepsi, Keventor Agro, Berger Paints, ITC, Indian Oil Corporation, Forum, Goodricke Group of Companies, G. K. B. Opticals, Selvel, Pallishree Limited, to name a few. The event was well covered by the media. The FM radio station BIG 92.7, official radio partner of this event, dedicated an entire day before the exhibition with the slogan "Power of One to Protect the Earth." Live coverage of the inaugural function was followed by an interview with BSG Director-General Naveena Reddi.
After the successful showing in Kolkata, the Seeds of Change exhibition was taken to Shantiniketan, where Visva-Bharati University (VBU) Registrar S. K. Sarkar inaugurated the exhibition at the Nippon Bhavan together with several faculty members of VBU, which was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921.
Earlier, BSG volunteers visited different areas in the small nearby town of Bolpur to encourage people to visit the exhibition. Traveling in rickshaws, they distributed pamphlets to different schools and institutes. The exhibition continued until January 29 and received 750 visitors, including students from three prominent schools.
[Adapted from a report from Bharat Soka Gakkai, India]