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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Sky lanterns marked a protest against child labour at illumination

lumination — Light the Night, powered by AIESEC in association with The Telegraph, saw lanterns lighting up the Friday evening sky over Salt Lake for a good cause. Held at CL Block, the event saw over 1,500 sky lanterns being lit and released together by AIESEC members, block residents, underprivileged children and others. The event was a statement against bonded child labour in the firecracker industry; the release of the lanterns signified the freedom of child workers.

“This is just the start. We should aim to release every single child involved in this industry. We should try and use sky lanterns to celebrate the festival of Diwali and move away from pollution-causing firecrackers,” said Suraj Chokhani, who helped organise the event. “Releasing a lantern is like letting go of your past and making a fresh start with a wish. This event was an example of how Calcuttans can come together for a good cause, like eradicating child labour,” said Neha Majumdar, a resident of CL Block.

“This was an event where light overpowered noise. We believe that Diwali is a festival of lights and not sound; it is a festival of celebration, not pollution. This event marked the beginning of Balakalakaar — an initiative where underprivileged children are given an opportunity to showcase their talent. Releasing lanterns was symbolic of their happiness,” said Ritansha Bagaria, vice-president, marketing, AIESEC Kolkata.

Shubhi Tandon