10 downtrodden children from Darjeeling to visit, judge best Durga Pujas in city

10 downtrodden children from Darjeeling to visit, judge best Durga Pujas in city
Darjeeling: An 11-year-old Bleze Shampang of Soom Tea Estate had watched the glamour and glitter of Durga Puja in Kolkata on television. Since then, it has been his dream to visit Kolkata to witness the fanfare. Not only Ma Durga is all set to make his dream come true, he along with nine other children from economically challenged background will be inaugurate a Puja pandal in Kolkata. They will also judge and declare awards for some renowned big-budget Pujas in the city of Joy next week.

Concern for Human Welfare (CHW), an NGO from Kolkata, backed by the Ramakrishna Mission Nivedita Educational and Cultural Centre (RKMNECC), Darjeeling, has organised this unique event with the support of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). The event "Paharer Chokhe Shomotoler Pujo" involves 10 children chosen from the economically weaker section of Darjeeling. They will get a chance to watch Durga Puja of Kolkata, judge them and also inaugurate Peerless Nagar Durga Puja on October 14.

"I am very excited. It will be my maiden ride on a train and a visit to Kolkata," stated 17-year-old Priti Ram of Singmari, Darjeeling. This is the maiden visit to Kolkata for the 10 students, aged between 9 to 17 years. For some, it is their maiden visit to Siliguri too along with a train ride. In Kolkata, the children will visit the Puja pandals of Ekdalia Park, Tridhara Sammilani, Bhawanipore Swadin Sangha, Chetla Agrani Club, Suruchi Sangha, Naktala Udayan Sangh, Sreebhumi Sporting Club along with a visit to Belgharia Ramakrishna Mission and Belur Math. They will judge the Pujas on different parameters and hand out awards. The children along with escorts left for Kolkata from Darjeeling on Thursday and will return on October 16. "CHW had requested us to select ten children for this programme. It was a difficult task to select ten from among 55, who are beneficiaries of Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa (GAP) of Ramakrishna Mission in Darjeeling. We chose the best performers who are from the economically deprived background" said Swami Parananda who is in charge of GAP. GAP is a programme in which regular education, moral education, cultural education and physical training are provided to needy children along with food round the year. This is the 4th year of the event. Last year, owing to the political turmoil that gripped the Hills, the event could not take place. "We want the children to have exposure of the cities. The programme also acts like a bridge between the Hills and the plains," stated Swami Nityasatyananda, in charge of the Darjeeling Center.

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An 11-year-old Bleze Shampang of Soom Tea Estate had watched the glamour and glitter of Durga Puja in Kolkata on television. Since then, it has been his dream to visit Kolkata to

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