Chandannagore lightings deck up Park Street in football fever
Kolkata: Using football as its central theme, the state government is promoting the lighting of Chandannagore by decorating Park Street with cutouts containing themes on football.
The lights of Chandannagore are famous for making cutouts laced with small bulbs. The electricians of Chandannagore have earned international goodwill over the years. It was Phata Kesto who had first used the lights of Chandannagore in the early 1970s during his Kali Puja at Keshab Sen Street.
Sridhar Das, the most well known decorator of Chandannagore said the beauty of the cutouts is that during heavy rain there is no need to switch off the lights. Ten cut outs have been installed at Park Street which has changed the ambience of the city's most important thoroughfare. Das said many community Jagadhatri Pujas in Chandannagore have put up cutouts on the theme of football.
It may be recalled that during the British period, people from all over the country used to come to Kolkata to see the decoration at Park Street with lights during Christmas. After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took the initiative and from Christmas to New Year the thoroughfare is lit up with colourful lights.
The Chief Minister has taken initiatives to revive the interest of football in Bengal, once called the Mecca of Football in India. Great players of yesteryears till the 1980s used to consider playing in Kolkata football league a matter of lifetime achievement. Footballs have been distributed free of costs to clubs, schools, colleges and universities as a part of the initiative.
It may be recalled that football became the most popular sport in Bengal after Mohun Bagan beat Eastern Yorks in the IFA Shield in 1911. IFA Shield is the second oldest football trophy in the world after the FA Cup. The Chief Minister in her public addresses has urged the students and youth to play the game seriously. She has also composed the theme song of Bengal of the U-17 World Cup.