Madhyamgram’s royal moment

For Sonali and Anita it was another day at work,but with a difference.

Written by Ritam Halder | Kolkata | Published: May 4, 2012 6:08:28 am

For Sonali and Anita it was another day at work,but with a difference. Their block print work was seen and appreciated by the third child of the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Andrew,the Duke of York,who was in the city today as part of his eight-day tour of India,visited Nijoloy,a shelter for girls and vocational education centre,at Ganganagar in Madhyamgram on the outskirts of Kolkata,and interacted with the inmates.

Anita,17,who has been at the Ganganagar home for the past five years,said,“It was an experience I will cherish forever. Many people come and see the kind of work we do here. But it is a different feeling to see a prince trying to make designs using colours and blocks along with us.”

The inmates also organised dance performances for the Duke of York.

Andrew,who was accompanied by his two daughters,Beatrice and Eugenie,presented the inmates of Nijoloy with children’s books written by ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

“This is a gift from my family to your family. I feel thankful for the opportunity to be able to come here and see the work being done for the girls and the hurdles in the path. These are not common problems for me. So this tour gives me an insight into the problems and concerns,and shows the road map towards a better tomorrow. I know these girls will have a part to play in the future,” Andrew said.

The prince was at Kohima on Tuesday,where he visited the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery to pay his respects. The Battle of Kohima in World War II saw both British and Indian soldiers fight together against the invading Japanese forces.

An official of Women’s Interlink Foundation,which runs Nijoloy,said,“The British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata has supported us on various occasions. This visit by Prince Andrew is an encouraging one. He understood and discussed in detail the problems and the work being done.”

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