On the street for street children
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Festivals come and go, but they remain in the dark throughout the year. Politicians talk much about uplift of the downtrodden people, but the benefits of government projects do not trickle down to them. They are the street children and children of red-light areas of Kolkata. So, 14 Pally Durga puja Committee made them as the theme of this year's puja to direct people's attention to the plight of street children and children of sex-workers.
The puja pandal of 14 Pally Durga puja Committee depicts the plight of street children. "We have made street children and children of sex-workers as our puja theme because nothing is done for them," puja committee secretary Debashis Roy said. Built on 840 square feet area, both sides of the pandal have pictures of street children. It was depicted how these children fall victims to crime syndicates.
No one to take care of them, these children enter the crime world and start operating gambling dens when they grow up. "This was picturised by Shibshankar Upadhyay, a little-known painter from Raiganj. Upadhyay had suggested to the puja organisers to make street children as the theme this year. He did not take a single paisa to highlight the plight of the street children through his paintings," Abhijit Ghosh, a puja organising committee member said.
Newspaper reports of abuse of street children have also been pasted on the walls of the pandal besides toys and dolls. "We tried to convey that street children, like other children, need toys to play. But instead of playing with toys, they work at tea stalls to earn their livelihood," Ghosh said.
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