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Interdisciplinary Festival

Health, sustainability, music, tech, entrepreneurship and more at The CCU Festival

The interdisciplinary festival marked its debut on October 29 at Taal Kutir Convention Centre. My Kolkata brings you all the highlights...

Subhadrika Sen | Published 01.11.22, 07:22 PM
The CCU Festival had a host of familiar faces to go along with the plethora of events, panels, music, food and much more

The CCU Festival had a host of familiar faces to go along with the plethora of events, panels, music, food and much more

Amit Datta and Arijit Sen

All roads in New Town led to the Taal Kutir Convention Centre, the venue for The CCU Festival — a one-of- a-kind festival conceptualised by Meghdut Roychowdhury and Pauline Laravoire to celebrate the vibrancy of Kolkata — on Saturday, October 29. My Kolkata was the digital media partner for the event.

The CCU Festival made its debut this year as part of the Make Calcutta Relevant Again campaign, which was launched by the duo last year. The festival saw some of the biggest brands and names come together under one roof to celebrate Kolkata and its various facets — art, technology, music, food, lifestyle, content creation, fitness and more. 

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“The happiness found in doing something for Kolkata cannot be found anywhere else. Everyone is asking ‘hocche ta ki?’. When we were young, we did not have so many professional possibilities, like freelancing or solo-preneurship. Today it is there, and sitting in Kolkata, you are able to create ways of making money, financial literacy and financial stability. Today’s CCU Festival is a celebration of that. It’s a celebration of how we can create new opportunities for people,” said Meghdut Roychowdhury, the heart of Make Calcutta Relevant Again and The CCU Festival.

Here are glimpses from all the action:

Getting underway

(L-R) Pauline Laravoire, Debasish Sen, Meghdut Roychowdhury, Neel Bhattacharya, Manoshi Roychowdhury and Joydeep Karmakar cut a cake to inaugurate the festival

(L-R) Pauline Laravoire, Debasish Sen, Meghdut Roychowdhury, Neel Bhattacharya, Manoshi Roychowdhury and Joydeep Karmakar cut a cake to inaugurate the festival

Arijit Sen

The CCU Festival was officially inaugurated in the presence of Debasish Sen, chairman, NKDA and managing director, WBHIDCO; Manoshi Roychowdhury, co-chairperson, Techno India Group; Neel Bhattacharya, actor and influencer; Joydeep Karmakar, sports shooter; Pauline Laravoire, co-founder and CEO, Y-East and sustainability director, Techno India Group; and Meghdut Roychowdhury founder, Make Calcutta Relevant Again and chief innovation officer, Techno India Group. 

Speaking at the inauguration, Sen said, “I thank this festival for bringing people from all over Calcutta and beyond. Come and see for yourself the changes that are happening. We are planning a virtual reality event in the meta world of very prominent Durga Puja pandals in Kolkata this year. I am very happy to see the fitness program in the morning session. I believe New Town is becoming a Mecca for fitness enthusiasts in and around Kolkata. We are planning to have a green walk in New Town soon.”

Health and fitness

A yoga session was conducted as part of FLOW, the fitness convention

A yoga session was conducted as part of FLOW, the fitness convention

Arijit Sen

Health and fitness are an important part of every individual’s lifestyle. The CCU Festival began with FLOW, a session curated for health and fitness enthusiasts. The morning began with a round of yoga and some warm-up exercises for students and audience before moving to a short panel discussion, where experts broke the myths about health. The panellists included Ranadeep Moitra, fitness expert and founder Endorphins; Parikshit Bhattacharya, lifestyle and functioning medicare specialist; Nabin Das, neuro-physiotherapist; Sweta Chowdhury, counselling psychologist and clinical hypnotherapist.

Start-up secrets

FLO-PTCH was specially curated for all the enthusiastic home-grown businesses seeking funding from investors

FLO-PTCH was specially curated for all the enthusiastic home-grown businesses seeking funding from investors

Arijit Sen

With entrepreneurship gaining paramount importance now, pitching and getting investments is also an essential part of the process. The FLO-PTCH was specially curated for all the enthusiastic home-grown businesses seeking funding from investors. The session was divided into the actual pitches in front of the many local and national investors, as well as short panels where entrepreneurship, investment seeking, pitch formulation, presentation and more were discussed. 

Mind matters

Bhaskar Bhatt, associate professor and director, school of design; Anant National University, speaks at the event

Bhaskar Bhatt, associate professor and director, school of design; Anant National University, speaks at the event

Arijit Sen

BLPRNT catered to the innovative minds that are solving problems with the help of practical designs. Start-up Embrace, which makes products like baby warmers, gave short presentations on product design and how it has benefited customers. A panel discussion took place with Ranadeep Das, managing director and CEO, Ingreens; Angad Daryani, founder and CEO, Praan; and Richa Srivastava, director, Maker’s Asylum. 

Tech talks

Panellists at the Web3 Convention, BUIDL

Panellists at the Web3 Convention, BUIDL

Arijit Sen

The Web3 Convention, BUIDL, was designed keeping in mind the need to be aware of the emerging technologies in the world wide web. Along with blockchain, decentralisation, token-based technologies and more, the convention panels also discussed the significance of Web3 in the contemporary world. Speakers included Sweta Shaw, full stack blockchain engineer at Questbook, tech mentor at The Phoenix Guild; Sushmit Lavania, co-founder Huddle01; Michelle Lok from Neon Sundae; and Akash Shukla, developer relations, Polygon. 

Kolkata moving

The sustainable Fashion March with model and influencer Pushpak Sen (front) as the showstopper, showcasing apparel from The House of Noorie

The sustainable Fashion March with model and influencer Pushpak Sen (front) as the showstopper, showcasing apparel from The House of Noorie

Amit Datta

The sustainability convention, MKKM, not only spoke at length about the recently concluded Towards a Better Tomorrow in partnership with Goethe Institut, but also highlighted on other community partnerships — including PUBLIC by Bonani and Pradip Kakkar; Nirit Dutta, environment activist and founder Buttrush and others. The Sustainability Convention highlighted not only the environment, but also social sustainability focusing on inclusivity. The session ended with a sustainable Fashion March.

The Moving Kolkata, Kolkata Moving Project is a unique collaborative effort to make the community more sustainable and conscious of the surroundings. Speaking earlier at the inauguration, Pauline said, “I’m really happy about what’s happening today. This is the result of non-stop preparation. It grew into a beautiful festival celebrating the City of Joy. What is beautiful about it is that so many partners have come on board to collaboratively work on it. Each and every session that you are going to witness today has been organised by a different partner. I have never seen such a community-led event emerging like this before.”

Content is king

CLOUT was aimed at bringing all content creators under one roof and offering them valuable tips to grow their game

CLOUT was aimed at bringing all content creators under one roof and offering them valuable tips to grow their game

Amit Datta

One of the most-awaited sessions of the day, CLOUT, was aimed at bringing all content creators, in any form, under one roof and offering them valuable tips to grow their game. Not only did the panel have useful tips from personal experience, but also launched Creatory, a one-of-its-kind incubation facility for content creators and India’s first male meta influencer. The panellists included Manish Pandey, content creation coach; Prerona Das Roy from The Kolkata Buzz; Neel Bhattacharya, actor and influencer; Priyam Ghose, content creator; Jimmy Tangree, radio jockey; Suraj Juneja, founder, Freeflow Ventures; Nirit Dutta, wildlife photographer and influencer; and Mishmi, actor.

CCU Icon

Sourav Ganguly was awarded the CCU Icon award, a unique award made out of recycled scraps

Sourav Ganguly was awarded the CCU Icon award, a unique award made out of recycled scraps

Amit Datta

Sourav Ganguly made a special appearance at The CCU Festival in the evening. He was awarded the CCU Icon Award, a unique award made out of recycled scraps. The ‘Dada’ of Bengal commented, “I think there is enough to make Calcutta relevant. The endeavour is to make the city as viable and as important as it can be. The reason I have come here is I have seen a young boy and girl trying their best to make this event successful. I travel around the world, and when I go I see people’s investment, businesses etc. and always feel that the same should happen in my city. In terms of sports, the city is quite relevant. It’s important to see that the youth of the city are trying to make things happen.” 

Talking heads

Speakers from the DSRPT panel shared their experiences with a room full of budding entrepreneurs

Speakers from the DSRPT panel shared their experiences with a room full of budding entrepreneurs

Amit Datta

The DSRPT panels had everything you needed to know about business, innovation and the way forward. The concluding convention for the evening had big names who shared their experiences with a room full of budding entrepreneurs. Some of the speakers included Llyod Mathias, angel investor and business leader; Amit Chaudhury, co-founder, Lenskart; Arjun Vaidya, founder, Dr Vaidya’s; Kaushik Mukherjee, co-founder, SUGAR cosmetics; Vargab Bakshi, vice president and country head, Wix.com and others.

Shop & shop

The all-day flea market, MRKT, had over 40+ brands

The all-day flea market, MRKT, had over 40+ brands

Arijit Sen

An all-day flea market, MRKT, curated with over 40+ brands gave an impetus to the growing entrepreneurship culture in the city. On offer were food, jewellery, clothes, art, wellness and lifestyle products that attracted huge attention from attendees. Some of the brands present included Karma Kettle, 145 East, Abeo, Auli, Micronesium and more.

Heritage showcase

A Chhau performance

A Chhau performance

Arijit Sen

A session curated for lovers of traditional Bengali art and culture, a Chhau performance was held at the lawns where the performers donned traditional and colourful costumes, and staged short skits based on Bengali mythological tales. Performances were accompanied by traditional music during BENGL.

Stage for creativity

A performance during CCU GOT SOUL

A performance during CCU GOT SOUL

Arijit Sen

CCU GOT SOUL and CYPHER were stages for open-mic performances, musicians, graffiti artists, beat boxers and more to showcase their talents. Performers included Anubhav Sengupta, Sukanya Majumder, Oculus, Rohit Mishra and other city talents.

Jam it up

Aamir Rizvi performs during JAMSTEADY

Aamir Rizvi performs during JAMSTEADY

Amit Datta

JAMSTEADY gave an opportunity to city musicians to come up and present their original music. The line-up for the day included the legend Amyt Datta, Kendraka, Whale in the Pond, Streetfood Music and more. A jam-packed audience showed the support and enthusiasm the people of Kolkata have for its musicians.  

Techno music

MOTOR CORTEX catered to the lovers of electronic and techno music

MOTOR CORTEX catered to the lovers of electronic and techno music

Amit Datta

For all the party and music lovers, MOTOR CORTEX catered to the lovers of electronic and techno music. A stage was set for grooving to the beats and the session had a lineup including 8 Bit Culprit, Kohra, Nida, Rudra, Tech Panda X Kenzani and more.

Last updated on 01.11.22, 07:22 PM
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