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Friday, 25 December 2015

Children with leprosy to perform ‘Kathak’ - West Bengal

A government auditorium in Durgapur will host a Kathak performance in January, where sixty children, all victims of leprosy, along with 50 others who are physically challenged, will perform Kathak dance under the supervision of 'Kathak' Gurus from Delhi, Rajasthan and Kolkata.


Kathak Dharohar, a Delhi based cultural society known for its contribution to the classical dance form, is engaged in grooming the children of Manipur Leprosy Rehabilitation Centre in Purulia by giving them the required expertise in Kathak. The children are now being taken for a 10 day special training that is being arranged at 'Chhatna Yuva Awas' in the foothills of Susunia rise in Bankura. The physically challenged participants hail from Bankura, Susunia and Chhatna. 

“They have resorted to this to get recognition from mainstream society,” said Sadananda Biswas, General Secretary, Kathak Dharohar. Biswas had visited Purulia in 2007 and in 2013 to take part in the ‘Jai Chandi’ Tourism Festival where he learnt about the children who had been sent to the rehabilitation centre by their families. The Manipur centre which is spread over 19.43 acres, accommodates 212 families; of them 457 individuals are leprosy-affected and 325 of the affected have become completely disabled. It has 87 children above 10 years of age. 

“We have picked 60 children aged between 10 to 15 years and have continued to groom them," Biswas said. He added, “It’s a matter of great pride that they are set to perform in the city, in the presence of ‘Kathak’ Gurus.” The ‘United Religious Initiative,’ a global grassroot inter-faith network headquartered in San Francisco, USA,has also joined hands. Biswadeb Chakraborty, India country head of URI told The Statesman, “Since they have taken up the mission to reach out to the children estranged from society, we felt it necessary to share the task.”

Source : The Statesman, 23rd Dec 2015 

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