Placeholder canvas
Igniting Ideas For impact

Embarking on a transformative journey through six chapters, we traverse India's landscape, exploring pioneering startups and their revolutionary...

7 months

By & For Street Kids: This Unique Pujo Pandal in Kolkata Deserves all The Cheers

It is the festive season in Kolkata, and everyone seems to be soaking in the spirit, especially these children.

By & For Street Kids: This Unique Pujo Pandal in Kolkata Deserves all The Cheers

It is that time of the year when Kolkata is dressed like a bride. Thousands throng to see the Puja pandals that spring up all over the city. This is Kolkata’s best period, the famous Durga Puja festival that sees the city’s residents step out in the very best, to have a whale of a time.

Most Puja pandals are huge works of art, with intricate lights and designs and huge budgets backing them. Among all the fancy pandals, this one, in particular, stands out.

A small sliver of pavement is the location of Kolkata’s first barowari Durga Puja to be organised solely by the children of pavement dwellers, reports The Times of India.

Christened the ‘Footpather Durga Pujo’, it translates into the ‘Durga Puja of the footpath dwellers’. The theme of the pandal, the kids have decided, is ‘Icchepuron’, or the fulfilment of wishes.

The students of Sarada Primary School, Kolkata. Image Credit:- Sarada Primary School
The students of Sarada Primary School, Kolkata. Image Credit:- Sarada Primary School

Bangur resident Mahendra Agarwal and his wife Rashmi, have been the backbone for these kids. Mahendra met the kids playing with clay idols, on his way to Mayer Bari, and on hearing their wishes of having their own Puja celebrations, decided to help out. With a budget of less than Rs 1 lakh, he ensured that the children got chart papers, crayons, ribbons and diyas.

Sujit Das, a Class 9 student, told TOI that Mahendra and his wife helped them realise their long-coveted desire of having their own idols and organising a Puja, where they would just have fun.

Idol-maker, Mala Pal, is guiding the young team of twenty children from classes 6 and 7 in this project. Students, Debjit Das and Surojit Sarkar, who learned idol-making by observing the famous artists of Kumartuli, are making the 1 foot tall Durga idol

The venue of the Puja is Sarada Primary School, a local non-formal institution. In their attempt for eco-friendly celebrations, the kids will decorate the entrance of the venue with their paintings, use roadside clay teacups, and flowers and ribbons for decorations. They are being supervised by Swapan Bhuiya, a teacher of the school.

You may also like:- Durga Puja Committee Stands up for Muslim Doctors, Stop Their Eviction from Flat!

The Puja pandal’s background will be decorated with the cards that depict their wishes. From good food to time for movies and good academic results, the kids have prayed in earnest.

From not having new clothes for the Puja, to finally being able to celebrate the city’s biggest festival, these forgotten children are determined to make the best of what they have.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us:, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

This story made me

  • feel inspired icon
  • more aware icon
  • better informative icon
  • do something icon

Tell Us More

We bring stories straight from the heart of India, to inspire millions and create a wave of impact. Our positive movement is growing bigger everyday, and we would love for you to join it.

Please contribute whatever you can, every little penny helps our team in bringing you more stories that support dreams and spread hope.

Support the biggest positivity movement section image Support the biggest positivity movement section image


See All
Sign in to get free benefits
  • Get positive stories daily on email
  • Join our community of positive ambassadors
  • Become a part of the positive movement