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Minister inaugurates child-friendly corner at Poush Mela

Kolkata: Minister of State for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Shashi Panja on Saturday inaugurated a child-friendly corner at the venue of Poush Mela in Santiniketan. Senior officials of her department including district officials were present.
"The initiative of such a child-friendly corner had begun from last year. But this year, we have given it a total overhaul. Apart from a number of playthings, there will be a giant drawing board where children can draw anything as per their wish, a cultural stage where kids can perform activities of their choice. There are facilities for parents to take rest and relax too," P Mohan Gandhi, District Magistrate, Birbhum, said.
It may be mentioned that the child-friendly corner will also impart lessons on child rights, health and institutional rights of kids.
The 123rd Poush Mela kicked off with the morning prayer at Baitalik and Chhatim tala. It will be held for six days this year. Poush Mela this year has around 1,400 stalls up from 372 last year when the fair was a three day event.
"Special care has been taken to prevent air pollution. The mela ground will be watered at regular intervals. There is a complete ban on the use of plastic," said Swapan Kumar Datta, acting Vice-Chancellor of Visva Bharati said.
The district police have given special emphasis on security with many foreign tourists turning up. There are as many as seven watch towers, 18 CCTV cameras, 10 police booths and eight gates. There is also a police control room and a separate stall for lodging complaints.
Cultural presentations including baul songs, Chhau dance, mask dance, frog dance, Fakir songs and kirtans are the highlights of the mela.
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