UK group to stage Urdu poetry event in India

London: Prominent poets such as Javed Akhtar are scheduled to participate in a series of events in India organised by a cultural organisation based in London and New Delhi to promote and revive poetry and music, beginning on Friday in New Delhi.

Hamkalaam, the organisation that aims to promote Indian literature, poetry, music, theatre and films through entertaining programmes, is organising the events in association with the Marshal of the Air Force and Mrs Arjan Singh Trust, which supports air force veterans, their widows and orphans.

The first event - `Shaam-e-Sahir` on Friday will focus on the noted poet and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. His work will be introduced by Javed Akhtar, according to Pervaiz Alam, artistic director of Hamkalaam, a press release said.

Air Marshal (retd) T S Randhawa, Vice-Chairman of the Marshal of the Air Force and Mrs Arjan Singh Trust, said: "Shaam-e-Sahir will be a great opportunity to project the aims of the Trust to a wider audience. The objective of the Trust is to give financial support to needy retired Air Force Veterans or their widows and orphans for whom no help is available from any other source."

Books on Sahir Ludhianvi in Urdu, Hindi and English will also be on sale during the event, the release added. The organisers have also tied up with Doordarshan for telecast of the event on DD Bharati.

Alam, a former journalist with BBC Hindi Service, said: "We have shortlisted other Urdu poets from the 1940s and 1950s such as Firaq Gorakhpuri, Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Asrarul Haque Majaz and Jan Nisar Akhtar for future programmes. We believe that cosmopolitan audiences today would appreciate serious poetry if concert production is entertaining."

Some of the events will also be taken on tour to the UK and the US, the release added.