At Kolkata pandal, a message against child labour

The pandal has been divided into several areas. At the entrance, a giant structure portraying Gansha’s head is installed. Inside his head, paintings have been placed to portray his emotions.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata | Updated: October 15, 2018 4:35:49 am
Dhakis (traditional drummers) and their families arrive in Kolkata ahead of the start of Durga Puja, in Kolkata on Sunday. Organisers of many pujas flock to railway stations to book the dhakis. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

The organisers of Dum Dum Park Tarun Sangha are using this year’s Durga Puja pandal to speak against child labour.

The pandal portrays the story of a child named Gansha, who works at a road-side tea stall, and the way he sees Durga Puja in his dreams. “This year, we wanted to protray the life of a child labour and the way he sees Durga Puja. We have taken inspiration from the life of a child labourer… and changed the name to Gansha and tried to show how such labour kills the innocence of children,” said Debraj Sikdar, secretary of the committee.

The pandal has been divided into several areas. At the entrance, a giant structure portraying Gansha’s head is installed. Inside his head, paintings have been placed to portray his emotions.

Dhakis (traditional drummers) and their families arrive in Kolkata ahead of the start of Durga Puja, in Kolkata on Sunday. Organisers of many pujas flock to railway stations to book the dhakis. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Once inside the pandal, a tea stall is placed where Gansha is seen pouring tea for his customers. A few metres away, a model of Ganesha has been installed facing the Durga idol.

“If you look at the expression of Durga, you will find that she is not happy. How can a mother be happy if her children are not happy? Our artist, Rintu Das, has told the story of a child labourer through such installations. We want the people who come to visit our pandal to spare a thought for these child labourers,” said Ayan Bhattacharya, another secretary of Dum Dum Park Tarun Sangha.

The entire pandal is decorated with items found in a tea stall — over 5 lakh tea bags, 1.7 lakh glasses, 1.25 lakh spoons and over 1.5 lak kettles.

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