Sulekha, CSJC celebrates football

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The Calcutta Sports Journalists Club (CSJC) celebrated its 69th Foundation Day on December 12th, 2023 at the Club Tent in the Maidan. Present on the occasion were the Secretaries of the three major football clubs – Debasish Dutta of Mohun Bagan, Debabrata Sarkar of East Bengal, and Raju Ahmed of Mohammedan Sporting; football legends Gautam Sarkar and Prasanta Banerjee; Senior IFA officials; office bearers of CSJC; senior sports journalists; members of the club and some select guests.

Suven Raha, the President of CSJC was at his eloquent best as he welcomed the guests and explained the theme of the evening – “Abeg” (emotion) which, he explained was the common thread bringing together CSJC, football, and Sulekha, a swadeshi entity engaged in ink manufacturing. “The pen and ink are the tools of the trade of us journalists, while the pen and ink, with football, are the instruments necessary for the development of our youth, for the greater good of the Nation. This is why CSJC is taking the initiative today, to commemorate our special day with this unique initiative.”

sulekha, csjc

The assembled dignitaries then unveiled three sets of inks sporting the club colours of football giants Mohun Bagan (Maroon and Green), East Bengal (Red and Yellow), and Mohammedan Sporting (Black and white). It is not known whether fountain pen inks have been dedicated to football clubs anywhere in the world before, and one speaker after the other lauded the initiative, not only because of the innovativeness but also because most viewed it as an effort to wean the younger generations away from their digital devices by enticing them back into the world of competitive sports and academia. Gautam Sarkar, one of the best midfielders ever produced by India, in his reminiscence, talked about the time when Sulekha was a household name and how the values espoused by the brand, and influenced successive generations of young men and women in search of excellence in their chosen fields.

sulekha, csjc

Speakers also thanked Kaushik Maitra, the Managing Director of Sulekha for taking up the challenge of creating the inks within three days of the idea of CSJC paying homage to the “Abeg” by dedicating the three sets of inks to the three Majors of Indian football. That Sulekha has also committed to supporting the CSJC-run girl’s football team was also announced and was greeted with a loud round of applause.

Sulekha, which had come into being, formed by freedom fighters to create inks for Gandhiji to write with, was once the ink-makers of the nation with footprints around the world. In the late 1980’s the entity, due to several adverse socio-political and economic reasons was forced to down shutters and is now doing a phoenix under the able leadership of Kaushik Maitra. Sulekha is taking a number of steps to reach out to the youngsters and to explain to them the advantages of writing with fountain pens and inks. “The CSJC association and the celebration of the religion called football are parts of this greater enterprise” said Kaushik Maitra.

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