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18th-century St. John’s Church in Kolkata hosts Heritage Walk for Hearing-impaired

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St John's Church, Wikimedia
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Kolkata, March 27, 2017: Sunshine on their shoulders, 30 bright young minds, notwithstanding their hearing-impairment, ambled up to the late 18th-century St. John’s Church here on Monday, soaking in the history of the structure through sign-language in a unique heritage walk.

Rukhsana and her schoolmates from the city-based Ideal School For the Deaf, looked up in awe at the artwork around the church as their teachers explained its 230-year-old history through sign-language as part of the heritage walk for the hearing-impaired.

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“The idea is to showcase the inclusivity of heritage structures. Heritage is meant for all and should be inclusive. Disabilities shouldn’t be a barrier to access and experience heritage,” Tathagata, archaeologist and co-founder of Heritage Walk Calcutta, told IANS about the initiative.

The event was curated and executed by the company in collaboration with the school under the Go Unesco ‘Make Heritage Fun’ umbrella.

Armed with special kits and visual aids (pictures of old Calcutta and the church, dates), the students from Classes 6 to 9, were taken around the church grounds, located smack in the middle of the city at Dalhousie.

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As Tathagata elaborated about the “Black Hole of Calcutta” and Job Charnock’s mausoleum, teacher Swati communicated the data through sign-language.

Charnock, a British trader, was considered to be the founder of Kolkata but in 2003 the Calcutta High Court ruled against it, saying Kolkata’s existence is older than Charnock’s landing.

The young visitors were particularly drawn to the 10 ft x 12 ft painting “The Last Supper” by German neo-classical painter Johann Zoffany, housed inside the church. They eagerly fired a volley of questions for their teachers and responded with hand gestures as they registered the fresh information.

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“Our favourite thing about the church is the painting. We love the ambience. It is our first heritage walk and we want to do it again,” Rukhsana and her classmates told IANS through sign-language that was translated by Swati.

To follow up on the walk, the students will be asked to interpret the church in their own way through paintings.

“The challenge is to simplify things for them. We have to break down the history and filter it down to the essentials so it is easy for them to absorb. The heritage walk and the paintings that they will later draw will help them retain the memory and the information they processed,” added Swati. (IANS)

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Fall

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the fortnight have declined

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls
Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls, flickr

Domestic petrol prices, which had hit record levels for 16 consecutive days in May, have been on the reverse trend for the last 13 days, including Monday, but the relief for consumers has been slow in coming.

The pace of decline has been less than half the rate of surge.

Percentage-wise, since May 30, when prices started to take a downturn, petrol prices have slipped 2.35 per cent in Delhi, compared to the 5.5 per cent in the previous 16 days.

In absolute terms, prices have gone down by Rs 1.85 a litre since May 30, compared to the increase of Rs 3.8 per litre in the during May 14-29. On Monday, fuel was sold at Rs 76.58 per litre in the national capital, down 20 paise from Sunday’s level, the IndianOil Corp’s website showed.

In Mumbai, where petrol prices were the highest in the country last month, the decline has been much slow at Rs 1.23 per litre so far, against the rise of Rs 3.76 a litre during May 14-29.

On Monday, petrol price in Mumbai was Rs 84.41 per litre against Rs 84.61 on Sunday. Similarly, in Kolkata and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 79.25 and Rs 79.48 respectively.

In Kolkata and Chennai too, the decline has been Rs 1.81 and Rs 1.65 per litre in the last 13 days, around 50 per cent of the previous rate of increase.

In tandem with petrol prices, diesel too has seen a decline, but of only around 2 per cent in all the major cities including Delhi, compared to over 5 per cent rise in the previous fortnight.

Petrol station
Petrol station, flickr

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the last 13 days have declined by Rs 1.36, and in Mumbai and Kolkata, the fall was of Rs 1.44 and Rs 1.45 per litre respectively.

Also read: Petrol price slashes by 32 paise and diesel price by 85 paise

On Monday, prices of the fuel in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were at Rs 67.95, Rs 70.50, Rs 72.35 and Rs 71.73 per litre, respectively. (IANS)