A celebration of Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary organised by the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) at the Subhas Chandra Bose Udyan in AE Block saw many children trooping into the park — a rare sight in pandemic-hit times.
They had come to take part in the recitation cum sit-and-draw contests organised on the occasion.
“This programme is a blessing. It does not matter whether she wins or not. The fact that she would be meeting other children and taking part in contests that she enjoys was enough reason for us to come,” said Aishwarya Majumdar, a resident of AB Block, New Town, who had brought daughter Samriddhi along. The only programme Samriddhi could participate in during the pandemic was a Mahalaya show in her block.
Brothers Debam and Suvam Roy Ganguly rushed from football practice to sign up for the contests. “I fed them in the car as practice continued till 9am,” said mother Dolon, a resident of Shukhobrishti.
But with a drizzle starting during Rabindra Tirtha curator Anup Matilal’s speech on Netaji’s life, many of the participants started considering a trip back home. So a quick decision was taken to change the venue to the New Town Business Club across the road.
At the end, Samridhhi went home with two winners’ certificates. The Class IV student won in her age group of five to 10 years by expressing her hope for a Covid-free world on the drawing sheet while in recitation, she shared the honours with Shivangshi Ray, a student of Urmilala Bose and a BA Block resident. Biswajit Hawladar, 13, won in the senior age group by illustrating Netaji. Ankana Roychowdhury, 11, won in recitation in the same age group.