Millennium Post

Shashi Panja unveils Durga Puja guide in Braille

Kolkata: For the first time in the city, blind persons will get an idea of the theme of a Durga Puja simply by their sensation of touch. The state Social Welfare department in collaboration with a city-based NGO has made arrangements of this thrilling experience for the blind persons through Braille technology.
"The description in Braille will be available in as many as 10 'big' puja pandals in North and South Kolkata. Our aim is to ensure that the differently- abled persons take part in pandal hopping in the same way as a normal person does. They will have an idea of the decoration of the pandal, the idols as well as the lighting of the pandals," Social Welfare minister Shashi Panja said while inaugurating the Braille Durga Puja guide on Friday.
The pandals that will have these facilities include Kashi Bose Lane, Kumartuli Sarbojonin, Hari Ghosh street in the north and Shivmandir near Mudiali and Tridhara near Deshapriya Park in south to name a few.
Some blind persons were taken to the Tridhara Puja pandal on Friday evening to get a feel of the experience.
The department has been releasing the Braille puja guide from the year 2012. "We had started awarding the three best pujas in the city for their contribution in making their pandal disable-friendly since the year 2015. This year too we will be giving awards for the same. It will be announced along with the Puroshree awards of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The same panel of judges will decide in this category also," Panja said. The department will also arrange pandal-hopping in buses for around 100 disabled persons in association with some NGOs. The date for this has been fixed on September 24.The disabled persons will be provided with food and
new dress.
The state Women & Child Welfare department that is also headed by Panja announced the Bondhu Kolkata initiative in collaboration with Kolkata Police. There will be 8 vehicles one each stationed in all the eight divisions of the Kolkata Police. These vehicles will be child friendly and will rush to a pandal in case of a person or a child getting estranged from the family in the heavy crowd. 3 outlets will be set up in Ahritola, Mudiali and Ultadaga where essential articles like water bottles, dry food, soft toys, sanitary napkins, wheel chairs will be available.
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