Commemorating Vilayet Jafri Sahab’s 2nd death anniversary (02 Oct 1935 – 05 Oct 2020), Jafri Foundation hosted a spectacular event in Mumbai. The glittering ceremony witnessed an evening full of love, music, poetry and dance celebrating Vilayet Jafri, who was the Founding Father of Son et Lumiere in India, a proponent of supper theatre, revered writer, poet, playwright, and ex-director Doordarshan and AIR. The event was attended by the luminaries of art and theatre, prominent TV and film personalities.
Susmita Mukherjee receiving Vilayet Jafri Excellence Award 2022 (From L to R) Atul Tiwari, Rajendra Gupta, Susmita Mukherjee and Krishna Jafri
Paying tribute to his legacy and exceptional body of work, Jafri Foundation felicitated Susmita Mukherjee, renowned Indian actress, author & theatre personality with Vilayet Jafri Excellence Awards 2022. Vilayet Jafri Excellence Awards celebrates and recognizes excellence in a person/organization who have made an unparalleled contribution to the field of Arts and Theatre. Through a rigorous shortlisting process chaired by the esteemed jury including Sharib Rudaulvi (a prominent critic, educationist, humanitarian & President Kaifi Azami Academy) Kanak Rekha Chauhan (Author, Poetess, Founder of literature festival Metaphor, Pride of UP Awardee), Atul Tiwari (Actor, Scriptwriter, Director), Shankar Suhail (Ex-State Minister, Theatre veteran, sound & light shows, TV & Films) and Kamal Arora (Ex-Director of Tagore Niketan College, Actor, Director, Sound & Light Shows, Sangeet Natak Awardee), Susmita Mukherjee was pronounced as the winner.
Rajendra Gupta, Indian film, television & theatre actor and director graced the event as the Chief Guest for the evening. Krishna Jafri, Jafri’s Sahab’s wife and the Chairperson of the Jafri Foundation delivered the welcome note and recited nazm (verse) titled ‘Mohabbat’, written by her and dedicated to Vilayet Jafri who inspired her to pursue writing. The mesmerizing evening witnessed incredible performances by Rituu Maneek on Anarkali, the love story – the hugely successful sound and Light show originally conceived and directed by Vilayet Jafri, Kathak performance by Guru Ruchi Sharma (Guinness book record holder on non-stop 15hours performance, Sangeet Natak Academy Awardee) on Surmai Sa Savera, a rendition of Jafri Sahab’s Nazm sung by Umber Jafri (son of Vilayet Jafri) and Gondhal Dance performance by underprivileged tribal kids from INSEED NGO. All these spectacular performances culminated into a grand musical delight by Umber Jafri lending his voice to Tum na aaye, penned by Vilayet Jafri as his last ghazal. When it was revealed in the program that Vilayet Jafri had written the Awadhi dialogues of Dilip Kumar’s film ‘Ganga Jamuna’, the audience showered with applause for a long time.
A name that conjures up images of artistic excellence, Vilayet Jafri has published 10 books, 22 sound and light shows, 11 plays and multiple radio and TV serials. He was awarded the highest literary honours like Urdu Academy Award, Sangeet Natak Academy Award, UP Academy Ratan Award, Kabir Award and the highest humanitarian awards like Communal Harmony Award, Pride of UP award. His words and works are immortal, and his legacy would live on forever in the hearts of future generations.
Preserving and perpetuating the legacy of Jafri Sahab, Jafri Foundation has been set up to take Vilayet Jafri’s vision forward by supporting Arts and Theatre Globally, by giving representation, voice and platform to the underrepresented and underprivileged persons in this field. Jafri Foundation will use both physical and digital platforms to build a global community of like-minded individuals while focusing on local art forms and performing artistes.
To celebrate the glorious legacy of Vilayet Jafri, Jafri Foundation will continue to host cultural and Awards programme annually.