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Dengue awareness through wood art

Dhubri, Nov. 15: A paan shop owner, alarmed by the recent dengue deaths in Assam, has decided to create awareness about the disease through art.

Krishna Gopal Dey, who runs a small paan shop in front of Dhubri divisional water resources department office on Vivekananda Road, hit upon the idea to create wooden artwork after the detection of a dengue case here.

The figure of a dengue-causing mosquito (Aedes aegypti) in wood and other figures sculpted in gamari (a variety of wood), were displayed at an exhibition organised by Biswanabin Bharat Sangha at the Kali Puja pandal on Vivekananda Road.

“Quite a few persons have died of dengue in Assam and the disease has also been detected in Dhubri, which has created panic among the locals,” Krishna Gopal said.

The 36-year-old sculptor said he was inspired by the proverb — “Prevention is better than cure”— to create a dengue mosquito in wood to help people know about how the disease spreads and the ways to prevent it.

“It is my little effort in the mission to prevent dengue from taking on an epidemic proportion in Dhubri and the rest of the state,” he said.

Krishna Gopal had left his education while reading in higher secondary and opened a paan shop to support his family.

He has also created over 200 other wooden figures of Noah’s Ark and other animals, which have been chiselled from pieces of wood given by his friend, Zakir Sheikh, who is a carpenter.

The secretary of the Sangha, Utpal Karmakar, said, “When Krishna told us about making a figure of the dengue mosquito, we decided to display it in the solo exhibition along with the rest of his art work,” Karmakar said.

Joy Prakash Dey, assistant general secretary, said they decided to display Krishna Gopal’s figures to give exposure to his hidden talent.

“A lot of people have admired his work and encouraged him to carry on honing his talent. We have also decided to move the state government for assistance so that Krishna can get more opportunities to showcase his art,” he said.