Kunwar Viyogi Auditorium at Dogri Bhavan, Dogri Sanstha Jammu was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh. As a sequel to the inauguration of the auditorium, a glittering award ceremony was also held in the inaugurated auditorium. The program was organized jointly by Dogri Sanstha Jammu and Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust. The work on the construction of auditorium started in the year 2010. However, the progress was stalled in the year 2012 because of the paucity of funds. The construction work was again taken up in the year 2018 with a liberal financial support from Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust which has resulted in the completion of the auditorium.
Of the two awards – Kunwar Viyogi Sahitya Kala Sammaan was awarded to Late Chhatrapal Saraf (posthumously), a veteran and versatile writer who contributed immensely to Dogri literature by the way of writing short stories, plays, tele scripts and scripts for documentaries etc. He was a Sahitya Akademi awardee as well and is the first recipient of Kunwar Viyogi Sahitya-Kala Sammaan which has been instituted by Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust and will be given for outstanding contribution towards Dogri language, Literature and its varied art forms. This Sammaan carries a shawl, a citation, a medallion and a cheque for Rs. 51 thousand. The Sammaan was received by Smt. Asha Saraf w/o Late Sh. Chhatrapal Saraf and the citation was read out by Prof. Veena Gupta, Vice President of Dogri Sanstha.
Kunwar Viyogi Sahitya Puraskaar which is given to a young writer every year, carries a cash prize of 11 thousand, a shawl and a medallion. This Puraskaar was given to Roshan Bral for his collection of Dogri poems entitled ‘Sheesha’.
Speaking on this occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh shared many anecdotes regarding his close association with Kunwar Viyogi and Dogri Sanstha Jammu. He narrated many qualities of head and heart of Kunwar Viyogi. He appreciated the exemplary efforts being made by Ms. Poonam Jamwal in promoting the Dogri literature and culture in general and the works of Kunwar Viyogi in particular. He mentioned that Dogri Sanstha has been doing pioneering work for Dogri Literature and Language consistently for the last 75 years. He urged the younger generation to make Dogri a part of their life and feel pride in speaking in their own mother tongue.
Prof. Lalit Magotra, President of Dogri Sanstha (Jammu), while welcoming the audience said that the creation of this auditorium and its inauguration is a historic moment in the history of Dogri language and literature. He shared with the audience the future plans to construct a library and museum after the completion of auditorium so that this complex becomes a place to which all Dogri writer and Dogri speaking public can emotionally relate to. Prof. Magotra was very emphatic in appreciating the financial assistance as well as the moral support from the kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust for completing the auditorium.
Poonam Singh Jamwal, the founder of Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust said that the Kunwar Viyogi auditorium, created with the joint efforts of Dogri Sanstha and Trust, will be a hub of art and culture where poets, artists, writers and patrons can find a platform to showcase their works. Speaking about the Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust she said that the Trust has taken multiple endeavours at school, college, university and cultural level to promote Dogri and introduce multiple initiatives to make the language relevant to the youth. The Trust awards scholarships, literary and art innovation awards at the university, college and school level. The aim is to empower and encourage the youth to fulfill their creative pursuits.
The poetry of iconic Dogri poets namely Deenu Bhai Pant, Kehari Singh Madhukar, Padma Sachdev and Kunwar Viyogi, was recited by well-known Radio and stage artists namely Deepak Kumar, Raj Kumar, Juhi Mohan and Promila Manhas.
The galaxy of prominent academicians, scholars and citizens was present in this ceremony which include Prof. M.K. Dhar (Vice Chancellor, Jammu University); Sh. Mukesh Singh (IPS, IGP, Jammu); Maj. Gen. (retd.) Sh. Govardhan Singh Jamwal; Sh. Ashok Angurana (IAS, retd.); Sh. Ashok Khajuria (MLC); Sh. Zorawar Singh Jamwal (Chairperson, Team Jammu); Sh. Abhinav Sharma (President, Bar Association); Sh. Pavitra Singh Slathia (Judge, retd.) and Smt. Poornima Sharma (Deputy Mayor).
Prof. Shashi Pathania, Vice President of Dogri Sanstha conducted the program with grace and aplomb.
At the conclusion of the program, Gianeshwar Sharma, Vice president of Dogri Sanstha, presented the vote of thanks.