The Telegraph
Friday , August 31 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Milanee dolls up for centenary celebrations
- Renovation on, cultural gala from next year

February 2014 is a long way off, but when it’s the question of Milanee, one of the oldest clubs of Jamshedpur, celebrating its centenary, it’s never too early to start preparations.

The Bistupur-based club, which was once famous for being the only one to flaunt a revolving stage at its auditorium in 1940, will complete 100 years on February 4, 2014. The celebrations will kick off from February 2013, with Milanee already gearing up for the big bash.

The club committee has decided to embark on a complete beautification project with modern facilities being added to the existing infrastructure. As such, the building is being renovated with work beginning last month.

“The foundation stone of the building was laid in 1921 when India was still struggling for independence. It has been a long time and the committee decided to renovate the existing building. The old structure will remain as it is, but we redoing the walls and the floor to give it a new look so that cultural programmes can be held inside the new building,” said Bhaskar Mitra, one of the vice-presidents of Milanee.

Workers have started laying the tiled floor, putting up glass windows and doors, and painting the walls. A false ceiling is being added at Shantiram Chakravarti hall, which is the main hall.

The committee has also decided to redo the stage, one of the city’s oldest platforms for cultural programmes and theatre. The entry gates will be changed too.

“Completing a century is no small feat. We have so many memories. Although we will start celebrating from February next year, we needed to get started on the renovation project. Till now, we have used about Rs 3 lakh and plan to spend more in phases,” added Mitra.

On the function front, Milanee has lined up a host of events.

Powerlifting, photographic exhibition, drama festival, literature festival, vocal concerts, sit-and-draw competition and rock bands will be held almost every month next year. The centenary festivities also include Founder’s Day, Rabindra Jayanti, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary et al.

“We have always been dedicated to art and literature. Every Wednesday, club members have a discussion on Bengali literature,” said Partho Mukherjee, a senior functionary of the club.

Earlier known as Sakchi Dramatic Club, Milanee was formed after Oriya Dramatic Club and Saraswat Sammilani merged with the former in 1920. That explains the name Milanee.

Over the years, the club had presented performances by famous cultural artistes like Pt Ravi Shankar, Mamata Shankar and P.C. Sorcar. It had also hosted literateur Sarat Chandra Chattopadhay.

At present, Milanee has about 400 members.

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