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President’s Message

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Greetings to Members and Friends of BAS.

It is with immense pleasure and gratification that we launch this new website of BAS with enhanced features and functionality.

We have been living through extraordinary and uncertain times and facing challenges of enormous proportions since the beginning of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The response from BAS members has been overwhelming, to serve the nation and the community in several ways and fight this unprecedented epidemic together as BASUnited. Furthermore, during the COVID-19 crisis, BAS members, collectively and individually, have shown exemplary dedication, cooperation and volunteer spirit by joining the authorities and the community in fighting the pandemic unitedly.

BAS had another very eventful and successful year right till the beginning of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic brought all our activities to a grinding halt. This did challenge us to think differently– we conducted a few online (virtual) events, a trend which is expected to grow in the coming months.

Reflecting back, one of the key achievements have been establishing a strong relationship through partnership and increased engagement with Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY). This relationship should be nurtured in the coming years, as a strong collaborative platform has been laid out. Over the last couple of years BAS has actively participated in community outreach events organized by MCCY and National Integration Council (NIC), LISHA, SICCI to name a few. The objective is to demonstrate that BAS is an active participant in the broader Singapore community and society and a stakeholder of the Government’s efforts to promote greater assimilation and national integration.

As part of members outreach, an on-line membership survey was conducted. Based on the survey responses, a Design Workshop was organized to holistically assess what the association should be doing to meet all reasonable expectations of BAS members, as far as practicable. Based on the feedback and ideas we received, we have embarked on rationalizing BAS activities while introducing new and interesting events, for example indoor games, quiz for kids, cage football etc. The latter had to be rescheduled due to Covid-19.

To serve our membership better and more efficiently, with value added services, a new integrated membership management system has been selected. The migration work is currently underway and we expect it to be functional shortly.

It has been a long cherished dream of BAS to have our own premises. For the acquisition of new permanent premises for BAS, the initiative has not made sufficient progress this year. However, going forward, the initiative must be pursued

BAS’s flagship event is Durga Puja. The festival takes us back to our roots as we cherish strong bonds and ties that bind us together as a community. It is an occasion to celebrate and for everyone to come together with a shared purpose and sense of solidarity.

It is a time for joy, festivity, amusement and merrymaking. The “Confluence” festival of Harmony and Integration, organized, in parallel with the Durga Puja offers all of these.

The “Confluence” festival also facilitates outreach and partnership with other community organizations. To show our solidarity with foreign workers, we organized two programs which featured musical performances by bands comprising foreign workers from Bangladesh and Philippines, a Chinese dance program by students of NAFA, a quiz on Singapore, partnership with SIFAS, helped the participants and the audience learn more about the history, culture and local norms. A Guided Tour of Durga Puja for people outside the Bengali Community was conducted and this was very well received. Through a partnership formed with NTU history department, the festival is documented.

The BAS Management Committee (MC2019) of this great association has strived to host Durga Puja and Confluence Festival 2019, an event of immense grandeur, and the pride of our community. The festival received rave all round reviews.

Without the unwavering enthusiasm and support of all our members, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver the stellar line-up of events that we delivered.

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Finally, I am happy to say that good governance and astute financial management with due diligence by the MC 2019, Association’s finances remain in robust condition at the end of 2019.

It has been a team effort for planning and flawless execution of each event. My deepest and heartfelt thanks to my team (MC2019) for their outstanding dedication, hard work and vision for the coming years. Without their unflinching support it would not have been possible to have another eventful year.

The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” is just beginning to be visible. The transition to the new normal is underway.

Do take care, stay safe and healthy.

Yours Sincerely,

Devashish Dutta