No handouts for these street children, please

No handouts for these street children, please
Express news service
Posted online: Saturday , December 08, 2007 at 12:00:00
Updated: Saturday , December 08, 2007 at 01:30:44

Kolkata, December 7 Winter in Kolkata is synonymous with fairs, exhibitions and circuses. The women and child development and social welfare department has kept the tradition alive by organising an exhibitions by vagrants and street children since the last 12 years.

This year’s ‘mela’ began today with a cultural item with song and dance performances by street children. The fair, on at Sisir Mancha, will continue till December 10.

There are ten homes for vagrants in the state in which they are imparted professional training. “They are usually physically or mentally challenged. We help them acquire various skills. The creations on sale in the fair,” said S Pathak, controller of the programme.

From cardigans to wooden furniture, handmade cards to terracotta products, the exhibition has it all. Around 24 NGOs (10,000 children) have taken part in the programme.

Welfare Officer Pranab Mitra said: “Children between seven to 14 are given professional training so that they can be brought into the mainstream. We want more people to visit the fair to provide encouragement.”

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