Hunt for the Marks Allrounder '08
THE initiative to bring out the best cultural talent in Chittagong from among all the school students finally succeeded in achieving the objectives. The mission statement of Marks Allrounder was to find and bring out talented students who have enough potential in several areas of cultural activities. The contestants were divided into three categories, namely, primary (classes I to V), lower secondary (classes VI to VIII) and secondary category (classes IX and X). They were judged on seven activities: song, solo dance, solo acting, recitation, impromptu, art and quiz. At the end, Chittagong now has three allrounder heroes, Robiul, Anupam and Shafkat.
To begin with, Chittagong was divided into six different zones. The primary selection round, that is, the audition round took place in each of the zones from the first week of February to mid of March this year. More than 15,000 students of about 355 schools enrolled but only 360 of them made it to the semi-finals, approximately 60 competitors per zone. The response from the competitors was unexpectedly high. They said they were not competing for the computer; but to prove themselves. With this overwhelming response, the hunt for the best cultural talent was organised by Drishty, a 16-year old socio-cultural organisation of Chittagong, with the title sponsorship of Marks - a popular milk brand from the house of Abul Khair Group. The radio partner was Radio Foorti.
On the 22nd of last month, the semi-final qualifiers performed in a gala function at Institute of Engineer's Bangladesh (IEB) auditorium, where the top nine finalists competed for the coveted Marks Allrounder title. The chief guest of the ceremony was General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 24th Infantry Division Major General Abdul Mubeen, ndc, psc who commented that children should always be encouraged to participate in such competitions as they get a relief from studies, yet, learn more.
Also present as the special guest was Chittagong Divisional Commissioner Hossain Jamil, who expressed his appreciation on the Drishty programme.
The top nine finalists presented their skills in front of the judges and gave live interviews on stage where they were judged by media personalities like Mustafa Manowar, Dr. Abdun Nur Tushar and Ashraf Kaiser. The winner was selected from the judgement scores of the judges as well as the votes cast by the audience.
The top three finalists from the primary category were Robiul Hossain Robin of Sunny Tutorial, Monem Azad of Chittagong Grammar School, and Maisha Binte Munia of Bangladesh Women's Association School. The top three finalists from lower secondary group were Anupam Debashis Roy of Chittagong Collegiate School, Nanjiba Rahim Nahi of BAF Shaheen School and Ahsanullah Sarkar of Chittagong Port Authority School. From the secondary category, the finalists were Shafkat Fahmid of Cider International School, Titly Dey Tithi and Joya Chowdhury of Agrabad Girls' School.
Major General Abdul Mubeen crowned Robiul Hossain Robin, Anupam Debashis Roy and Shafkat Fahmid as the 'Marks Allrounder' on their individual categories. They were awarded with latest model personal computers.
The rest of the semi-finalists performed on the stage along with the popular puppet 'gittu' and prominent singer Samina Chowdhury. The event was conducted by Drishty Joint Secretary Adnan Mannan and Nabila. The three-hour function was also graced by the presence of Drishty President Masud Bakul, General Secretary Saif Chowdhury, and consultant (Brand & Research) Abul Khair Goods Division Tasneem A Karim. The event was coordinated by Syed Rifat Faruk, Executive Member, Drishty and Saber Shah, Member, Drishty.
(Writer is a debater and member, Drishty Chittagong).