Love you zindagi, the title song of the Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan-starrer film Dear Zindagi, sung by Amit Trivedi, is no longer just a song; it’s an anthem, a movement for LovvYouZindagi, a mental health fest spearheaded by psychologist and founder of Caring Minds, Minu Budhia. And the anthem filled The Bengal Stateroom at ITC Royal Bengal with positivity and an abundance of hope, on October 15, the grand finale of the contest that marked a decade of Caring Minds. After months of brainstorming, shortlisting and assessing the entries in six categories — Tagline, Photography, Documentary, Essay Writing, Radio Jingle and Poster Making — from across city schools by a jury, the results were declared. The afternoon saw 20 young creative minds take home impressive cash prizes, certificates and mementoes in the presence of an august audience that included top industrialists, government officials, educationists and people from all walks of life. The hosts — Sanjay Budhia (MD Patton Group) and Minu — also turned emcees and made the afternoon an engaging affair.
Here’s bringing you highlights of the event...
The Radio Jingle category saw an overwhelming response and it saw six students take home prizes. Rishika Manna of Ashok Hall Girl’s Higher Secondary School took home the top prize from Pallavi Chatterjee, Rinu Agarwal and Rajiv Agarwal. "LovvYouZindagi is an international-standard, essential initiative taken by Minudi to understand and impact the minds of the youth of today. The out-of-the-box approach of using creativity as a tool to share awareness about mental health is trendsetting. It was much more than worth my visit from Memphis," said Rinu Agarwal, Caring Minds advisory board member.
Riddhi Jain and Mahika Raj of Delhi Public School, Ruby Park were declared the second runner-up in Radio Jingle and were awarded by Vivek Gupta, Dr Santanu Sen and Dola Sen.
Adarsha Paul of Birla High School was also adjudged second runner-up in the Radio Jingle category. He received the prize from tabla maestro Tanmoy Bose, Pt Tejendra Narayan Mazumdar and percussionist Bickram Ghosh.
In the Essay Writing category the award was given to Armaan Gangwal of Birla High School by Mayor Firhad Hakim, advocate general Soumendra Nath Mookherjee and chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi. “I extend my heartiest congratulations to you for organising an eye-opening and much-needed programme like LovvYouZindagi. The noble intention behind it — celebrating the talents and celebrating the lives of our youth, is commendable. Looking forward to more such socially impactful, mental health awareness-creating events,” said Dwivedi.
Tannistha Tridib Ghosh of Delhi Public School, Ruby Park was declared the first runner-up in Essay Writing. Debasish Kumar, Priti Patel and Nandini Ray awarded her. "This is an amazing initiative. Thank you Sanjay for asking me to be part of LovvYouZindagi," said dansuese Patel.
Srijan Chatterjee of B.D. Memorial International took home the second runner-up prize in Essay Writing, given by Billard champion Sourav Kothari, actor and MP Mimi Chakraborty and danseuse Tanusree Shankar. “Congratulations and kudos to Minu for bringing a revolution in the field of mental health,” said Shankar.
The second runner-up in the Poster Making category was Rituparna Das of Sushila Birla Girls School. Danseuse Alokananda Roy and actors Raima Sen and Richa Sharma presented her the award.
Smera Sethi of La Martiniere for Girls received the first runner-up prize for Poster Making from Dr Anjan Siota, Surajit Kar Purkayastha and veteran actor Barun Chanda. “Based on experiences on your personal front both of you have taken forward an issue which is universal and relevant to everyone in life. Noble gesture indeed by an illustrious family of Calcutta. Proud of you and especially Minu Budhia,” said Purkayastha, IPS (retd.) and chairman of Satyendra Nath Tagore Civil Study Centre.
In the Poster Making category, Meghna Bhaduri of Gokhale Memorial Girls' School emerged as the winner. She was awarded by Rev. Fr. John Felix Raj S.J., Fr. Dominic Savio S.J. and Fr. Peter Arockiasamy S.J.
Conveying an important message like mental health with one photograph can be quite tricky but the participants wowed the jury with their creative bent of mind. With her picture titled 'The Internal Mirror', Gahana Ray of Shri Shikshayatan School won the top prize in the Photography category. Harshavardhan Neotia, H.M. Bangur and Sanjiv Puri gave her the prize.
The other Shri Shikshayatan student bagging the second runner-up spot in Photography was Swachhatoya Mukherjee. Sujoy Prasad Chatterjee, Sudarshan Chakravorty and Arun Lal gave away the prizes.
The first runner-up in Photography was Abhishikta Paul of Shri Sikhshayatan School. Jimmy Tangree and actors Chaiti Ghosal and Koneenica Banerjee gave away the prizes.
The sixth and last category of LovvYouZindagi — Documentary — was won by a team of Banira Chhetri and Anshra Jahan of Loreto College. Probir Roy, Anindya Mitra, and Jayanta Mitra gave away the prizes.
The first runner-up in Documentary was Ritika Nair of Delhi Public School, Ruby Park. Chess champion Dibyendu Barua, Swati Sarawagi and fashion designer Abhishek Dutta awarded the winner. "The initiative was no doubt great but what made it more remarkable was both of your personal touch and involvement. May God give you the strength to carry on with such noble work for many more years," said Barua.
Dr Pronab Dasgupta and Dr Hrishikesh Kumar handed over the certificates and prizes to the second runners-up in Documentary, that comprised Sharanya Bhattacharya, Madhusmriti Chowdhury and Nishan Dutta of B.D. Memorial International. "The best function in this City of Joy. Around 1,200 guests, with the who's who in this city present.... Well organised with a fantastic ambience. We are all proud of you both," said Dr Dasgupta.
This Memoir Corner, a bright library housed Minu Budhia’s memoir, Death of a Caterpillar, along with her articles on mental health written in t2. All guests were welcome to pick up a copy for their personal libraries and bookshelves.
The aesthetically designed stage welcomed all winners and was the centre of attention the entire afternoon.
Prachi Budhia, the inspiration behind Minu Budhia’s initiatives including LovvYouZindagi.
Minu Budhia with the winners of LovvYouZindagi. She said, "There’s a story during this contest about breaking the stigma surrounding mental health that I must share. The winning documentary entry on mental health was actually deleted by the students who made it because they had felt it was too raw and what people may say if they saw it. Thankfully, I had seen it the same day before they deleted it. We actually had to call and convince them to re-upload their story. I had to emphasise that they matter, their story matters. And here we are, they won with their brilliant talent. I hope this encourages more and more students to apply next year. Each recipient has shown incredible creativity, special skills, unique vision and a lot of hard work. We are giving awards to children to encourage them, but their victory does not mean the defeat of others. The talent of these children cannot be weighed by the scales of success. Every child is unique in his thinking and has their own way of thinking. LovvYouZindagi is an attempt to showcase what’s on their mind on the stage and to boost their morale."
Minu Budhia with husband Sanjay and daughter Preeyam. #ForceToReckonWith