Rural women showcase empowerment at Durga puja pandal | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Rural women showcase empowerment at Durga puja pandal

kolkata Updated: Oct 15, 2010 11:41 IST

Right from aesthetics of the pandal to its security, almost everything is taken care of by a group of over 150 rural women, who have showcased their empowerment at a Durga puja celebration in the metropolis.

Around 150 women from Sundarbans, Lodhasoli and some parts of north Bengal, working for various self help groups have formed the Sharad Swanirbhar Committee, which has organised the puja at Beliaghata.

The image of Goddess Durga resembles a village belle and the pandal a complete village, with a health centre, a community radio centre, a rain water harvesting unit and solar lamps, where visitors are being shown how handicrafts are made.

Almost everything has been done by the women, from decorations to even providing security to teeming pandal hoppers.

"We are trying to show that the energies of unemployed women can be harnessed for social and economic development," Hritabroto Chowdhury, founding member of an NGO Social Engineering and Advanced Technical Education (SENATE) and one of the brains behind the puja said.

During the puja, the group showcased eye-catching bags and folders made of paper pulp among other items.

"The bags and folders, woven from strips of hand-made paper and newspapers have been branded as 'Greeninitiative' and have already found orders from corporates and stirred interest abroad," Chowdhury said.