A talk on ‘Literature, Society and Children’ was organised by Literary Cell, Arya Vidyapeeth College on 31/10/2018 at the Conference Hall. Miss Anindita Langthasa inaugurated the programme with a few words on the importance of literature’s role in the upliftment of society. Mrs. Utjala Barman, the convener of Literary Cell, Arya Vidyapeeth College gave the welcome address. Dr. Mrinal Sarma, Vice-Principal of Arya Vidyapeeth College, addressed the gathering and spoke on the importance of chidren in our society and recording of their life experiences in literature. Mrs. Monikuntala Bhattacharjya was invited as the speaker of the programme. Mrs. Monikuntala Bhattacharjya is one of the most celebrated authors of Assam, renowned for her unique and marvelous writings in the forms of novels, short stories, poems etc. Till date, she has published over nineteen novels and many collections of short stories, which includes romantic stories as well as some pressing social issues like witch-hunting problem, AIDS, old age home, mobile theatres in Assam etc. A number of popular television serials are also based on her works. “Ishu”, a movie based on her work on children, is critically acclaimed at the National level. Dr. Moushumi Dutta Pathak from the Department of History, felicitated the speaker with a book hamper and a gamusa. Mrs. Champa Patgiri from the Department of Assamese, felicitated Dr. Mrinal Sarma, Vice-Principal of Arya Vidyapeeth College with a gamusa. Mr. Bappan Debnath from the Department of Bengali, escorted the dignitaries on the dais.
The speaker of the programme, Mrs. Monikuntala Bhattacharjya, firstly spoke on how children’s literature has been increasingly exposed to critical debate in the present times. She said that children are the future of our country and hence their experiences of life should be addressed in literary discourse. She said that in her novel Ishu she had depicted the traumatic experience of a child who witnessed the inhuman practice of witch hunting which is still prevalent in parts of Assam. She said, “We should not let our inner child to sleep”. She concluded her lecture by asking the students to record their experiences and make efforts to get them published in reputed magazines, newspaper and journals. During the interactve session, Tanmoyee Sarkar, a student of 5th Semester (English Major) asked the speaker regarding her writings on the adolescent stage of life. Dibya Pratim Borah, a student of 1st Semester (English Major) asked the speaker regarding the exploitation of children and the role of writer in bringing about positive changes in society. The programme came to an end with a vote of thanks by Dr. Moushumi Dutta Pathak.