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Bonhomie without border

Nayabari (Indo-Bangla border), July 21: Astronomers of India and Bangladesh today stitched a new bond of friendship as around 25-30 of them crossed the barbed wire fences and met on the zero line ahead of tomorrow’s total solar eclipse.

While India was represented by the Siliguri-based Sky Watchers’ Association of North Bengal (SWAN), the members of Bangladesh Astronomical Society from Dhaka formed the neighbouring country’s delegation. The astronomers from both the nations hugged each other and shared sweets and soft drinks to express the inherent feeling of brotherhood and harmony.

“We look forward to sitting together and watching the universal sky one day when there will be no borders and fences,” was the initial reaction of Fazlul Rehman Sarkar, the secretary general of the Bangladesh organisation, as he saw the Indian contingent carrying the tricolour.

“It was like a dream come true. We had been aspiring to go beyond borders and meet our friends who have been watching the same sky,” Debasis Sarkar, secretary of the SWAN, said. “It is good that we could finally organise such a meeting on the lines of ‘Astronomers Without Borders,’ formed with an aim to foster brotherhood, harmony and peace throughout the world.”

The meeting took place near Pillar 433 on the border, located 90km from Siliguri, in Uttar Dinajpur district around 5.45pm.

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