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Hum & walk in Visva

Santiniketan, March 23: Visva-Bharati has decided to open the old Pous Mela ground near its core ashram area to morning walkers and has installed along the way speakers that will play Rabindranath Tagore’s songs.

The ground, from where the annual Pous Mela was shifted to the Purba Pally field in 2012 to avoid polluting the protected ashram area, will be opened to the public on April 14. Walkers can use it from 5am to 7am.

Sources said the decision to beautify the old ground was taken after the varsity received complaints that outsiders were using the area as a drinking den.

“We have planted around 200 saplings along the ground. A section of outsider was using it for bad purposes. After beautifying it, we have installed speakers that will play Tagore’s songs. The ground will be inaugurated on April 13 and morning walkers will be allowed from the next day,” said Sushanta Dattagupta, the vice-chancellor.

Varsity officials said Santiniketan, where many people from Calcutta have homes and spend quiet weekends, lacked proper parks for morning-walkers.

Sukanta Mukherjee, a police officer who settled in Santiniketan after retirement a few months ago said: “A walk in the ashram area is the perfect way to begin a morning.”

According to Mani Mukut Mitra, the director of the physical education department who initiated the beautification drive, gandharaj, shiuli and hibiscus saplings have been planted.

Other than Tagore’s songs, instruments such sitar and esraj will be played on the speakers, on which the varsity has spent around Rs 1 lakh.