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Poor children of Bengal wish for a better world on Durga Puja

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By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: Durga Puja, the grand festival of the Bengalis, started yesterday with Mahalaya. As per the tradition, the lazy Bengalis wake up early on the morning of ‘Mahalaya’ to the songs of Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s ‘Mahisashur Mardini’, and with the reckon of a festive flavor that will last for a week.

But does the arrival of Maa Durga bring happiness to every Bengali? Here is a NewsGram exclusive report from Kalyanbrata Sangha, in Uluberia, a place 50 kms away from Kolkata.

NewsGram spoke to the poor students of the school and their teacher and almost everyone expressed the same sentiment: “Pujo amader jonyo noy” (Puja is not for us).

Arnab Mitra: What is the essence of Puja to the children of your school?

Head Master Mintu Kumar Sapooi : Unlike their rich friends in the city, these children get very few opportunities to enjoy during the Puja. They receive new dresses every year from various organizations and we arrange for them a Puja trip to Kolkata with the help of the group Any Body Can Donate (ABCD).

2015-10-12 20.32.55Arnab Mitra: Don’t you feel sorry for these poor children?

Mintu Kumar Sapooi: No, it is the society who should feel sorry for the conditions of these children. The education is only for the rich and not for the poor. We don’t even have infrastructure in our school to give proper education to these children.

Arnab Mitra: Why do you think so? The Government’s ‘Mid Day Meal’ scheme is to attract the students to Schools.

Mintu Kumar Sapooi: To me, it is just a propaganda of the government and nothing else. My point is, do such students even come to the school to learn? I doubt, because you need to understand that the project ‘Mid Day meal’ does not have any relation with education. Such students come to school for food and not for education.

Arnab Mitra: Does Puja makes any sense to these poor children?

Mintu Kumar Sapooi: The Children know that they have a bleak future, their parents can’t pay for their higher education and bribe to get a good job. Puja, Cricket, Music, or Cinema do not make any sense to them as they are living in a hapless bourgeois society.

When NewsGram asked the students about their wish to Maa Durga, they pleaded “A better world for us”.

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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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)