To spread the happiness of Durga Puja, the department of Journalism and Mass Communication of Maharaja Manindra Chandra College, Kolkata, organised a Puja parikrama for underprivileged children in Canning on September 27.
The 12th year of this annual initiative involved the faculty and students of the Journalism Department, along with the president of the governing body of the college, Arun Kumar Chattapadhay, and faculty members of other departments.
With the help of Go Dharmic Welfare Foundation, the faculty and students of Manindra Chandra College distributed clothes among 250 children from the villages of Saatmukhi, Kaatphul, and Shibganj. These villages are about an hour away from the main settlement of Canning.
The children were also provided with lunch and dinner, and taken to nearby puja pandals.
Children visit one of the nearby puja pandalsMMCC
Debabrata Mondal, associated with NGOs Shishu Kunj and Go Dharmic Welfare Foundation, said, “These children, aged between four and 12, are first-generation learners. Most of them are raised by single parents or have been abandoned by their biological parents. Some of their parents beg for a living on Park Street. All of them live in mud huts.”
Talking about the significance of such an initiative, Biswajit Das, head of the department of Journalism, said, “Students these days are often considered self-centred. Events of this kind bring them face to face with the marginalised sections of our society. They are able to spread the joy of Durga Puja festivities among the less fortunate.”
Das said the initiative started 12 years ago with only Rs 10,000 and today contributions come in from several people associated with MMCC — past and current pupils, some faculty members and some non-teaching staff as well.
Somrita Ganguly, head of the department of English, said, “These students save money from their Durga Puja revelries to contribute to this noble cause. It instils in them the value of depriving themselves of one new dress or one meal at a fancy restaurant, and instead reaching out to those far less privileged.”
The initiative is undertaken without any other form of sponsorship.