A Bit About Us
PRANTIK, meaning an association in a far corner of the world, was born in 1973. It was born out of the deep connection felt by Bengali speaking people who came from South Asia to the Baltimore area.
From the late 1960s through the mid 70s there was a large influx of South Asians coming to United States. Some came as students and others as immigrants. Many of these were Bengalis. The Baltimore area also experienced a significant increase in Bengali population.
The Bengali population of Baltimore area felt the need to organize so that the traditions and culture of Bengal could be preserved among the Bengalis in this area. In the early days the enthusiasts organized cultural programs and puja ceremonies without the formation of an association. These included Tagore birth anniversary (held in 1971); Bijoya Sammelan (held in 1971); and a summer picnic (held in 1972).
By this time we all agreed that an association should be formed and that it should be registered as a corporation in the State of Maryland. Several members of our community assembled and registered the articles of incorporation and bylaws of PRANTIK with the State of Maryland. Thus PRANTIK was born.
During the last few decades PRANTIK hosted many well known performers from India. These included: Suchitra Mitra; Hemanta Mukhopadhyay; Dwijen Mukhopadhyay; Chinmoy Chatterjee; Kanika Bannerjee; Ajay Chakrabarty; Utpalendu Choudhury; Sabita Choudhury; to name a few. We also staged dramas and dance recitals presented by Satya Bannerjee; Tripti Mitra; Ananda Shankar; Aparna Sen; Chetana and many other groups from Kolkata. Members of PRANTIK also presented several musical programs, dramas, and dance recitals to the delight of all. PRANTIK hosted the 10th Banga Sammelan in 1989--this was the first Banga Sammelan held outside New York. Once again, PRANTIK joined hands with SANSKRITI of the Washington area to host Banga Sammelan in 2011.
Happily many of the original organizers of PRANTIK are still among us. Some left the Baltimore area and are in other parts of the US. Sadly some have left us forever, but their memories live in our hearts. All founders and members of PRANTIK have contributed in making our organization that makes us proud. They are too many to name, so I am refraining from naming any individual except the names of past presidents of PRANTIK.
Today we can be proud that our organization, born in 1973, continues to provide a forum for the Bengalis who live far away from their original abode, and we have such a great group of people who foster the Bengali tradition and culture.