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Bereft of vision, not on confidence, students organise Saraswati puja

The workshop is a welfare organisation situation in Salt Lake since 2000

Satadipa Bhattacharya | Published 18.02.22, 12:13 PM
Students of the Workshop for the Blind put up a cultural programme. (Right) A visually challenged student chops vegetables for puja

Students of the Workshop for the Blind put up a cultural programme. (Right) A visually challenged student chops vegetables for puja

They may be visually impaired but that didn’t stop them from conducting and enjoying Saraswati puja.

Students of the LB Block-based Workshop for the Blind did everything from going over to select the idol, shopping for puja items, cutting fruits and preparing bhog.

The workshop is a welfare organisation situation in Salt Lake since 2000. It is an adult centre that educates visually challenged students using Braille and provides training in skills like chair-weaving, chalk-pencil making, bamboo-work, incense stick and phenyl making.

“Saraswati puja is special to us. On Durga puja, we have to wait for others to take us pandal-hopping but Saraswati puja takes place at our own centre and we can conduct it without having to depend on anyone. It brings us great satisfaction to do everything ourselves,” said Kakoli Barui, who started out as a student here but is now a demonstrator, teaching others here.

After the puja, students sat in front of the idol to sing devotional songs. “Today I am offering my songs to the goddess as a mark of respect,” said Gobindo Sarkar, who travels from Bongaon for his classes. He played the harmonium and sang a few of his favorites like Amar-o porano jaha chay and the Kumar Sanu hit Tomar sure sur bendhechhi.“We have 35 students here, all of whom travel by train and bus to come everyday. The travel makes us independent and confidence,” says Arpita Dutta, a staff member. “The centre is a second home for us and things were difficult when it was shut due to the lockdown. But we have overcome that phase now.”

Last updated on 18.02.22, 12:13 PM
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