Kolkata, Sep 24 (IANS) In an initiative to make the coming Durga Puja festival an all-inclusive affair, a guide book in Braille was unveiled in the city for the first time Monday by the National Institute of Professionals (NIP) - an NGO working for the blind and visually impaired.
"With the Braille Durga Puja Guide, which provides a detailed map of all the leading puja pandals of Kolkata, we hope the visually impaired can indulge in pandal-hopping like the rest of the city does," said Debajyoti Roy, secretary of NIP.
The guide book was compiled in collaboration with the Forum For Durgotsab, West Bengal government, Rotary International and Public Relations Society Of India (PRSI).
In addition to the guide book, special arrangements for the differently-abled and senior citizens would also be made.
"There are 180 Durga Puja committees under our forum and every year we take the initiative to do as much as possible to make the differently-abled and senior citizens feel welcome and comfortable. This year, we aim to provide more services," said Forum vice president Partha Ghosh.
The puja pandals that provide the best amenities for the differently-abled and senior citizens will be awarded, he said.
In an effort to make the festivities accessible to foreign tourists, the forum has arranged tour guides, transportation and accommodation for them. "In addition this year, we have also installed mobile toilets at the pandals," revealed Forum president Nitish Saha.
The launch was graced by celebrated Kolkatans like singer Lopamudra Mitra, fashion designer Abhishek Dutta and renowned sarod player Tejendra Narayan Majumdar among others.
Durga puja, the biggest festival in Bengal, would be celebrated Oct 20-24 this year.