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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Activists walk backwards for cause in Kolkata

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 09, 2013
First Published: 11:01 IST(9/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:08 IST(9/9/2013)

We have always seen activists, politicians and NGO workers walking but ever heard of people walking backwards to fight against a cause?

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On Sunday evening, scores of youngsters in the city gathered at Vivekananda Park, near Rabindra Sarovar Lake, braving the rain, shouting ‘We choose to be MAD’ and walking backwards, to fight illiteracy on World Literacy Day.

Make A Difference (MAD), an NGO working with orphanages, staged a ‘Backathon’ in Kolkata as well as 19 other cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Vellore and others. The young volunteers sported black T-shirts and red tattoos that read ‘I choose to be MAD’ and walked backwards from Vivekanada Park to Golpark.

“We have over a 100 participants today, most of whom are volunteers of our organisation. They also teach at some of the orphanages we work with. One month back, our NGO staged the same event at Vellore. We wanted to spread the same awareness across the country and so this walk today,” said Sushruti Tripathi, a third year student of NUJS, also a teacher at MAD.

She added, “We teach English to children so that they don’t miss out on the opportunities in life due to a language barrier.”

According to volunteers, such an initiative will not only help in spreading awareness but also help them in getting more volunteers.

“When I discussed the idea with my family, my son, Siddharth, who is in Class 6, jumped at the idea and wanted to join me. Today I am here with my son and my husband Rajiv to support the cause that I am fighting for, ” said Namrata Pujara, a homemaker who also teaches the children at MAD.

In Kolkata, MAD is working with four orphanages, namely Calcutta Muslim Orphanage for Girls, Calcutta Muslim Orphanage for Boys, All Children Together Trust and Dakshin Kalikata Sevasram.


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