Just an Open Box of Thoughts

Khola Baksho Launch

THE TELEGRAPH

Just an Open Box of Thoughts

by Chandreyee Chatterjee

Kolkata, 20 February 2007

Piyali Mondal,14, lives in a shelter home in Jhargram. Sarathi Khatun, 13, goes to school but doesn’t have many friends. Shikha Roy, a young enthusiastic speaker, stays in a shelter home but doesn’t have a platform to interact.

Piyali, Sarathi, Shikha and many like them staying in slums, shelter homes and red-light areas are leading lives in a tightly-closed environment.In order to help these “marginalised” youngsters express their feelings, a little magazine for the young, by the young, of the young, was launched by Kalam: Margins Write, a city NGO. “The magazine is the brainchild of our young members, who have been with Kalam since it was formed. Our idea is to give these youngsters a platform to speak out and reach the mainstream,” said Bishan Samaddar, programme coordinator, Kalam, an initiative of the Daywalka Foundation.

The magazine, featuring poems, stories and write-ups in Bengali, Hindi and Urdu was launched on Sunday. “I never knew I could write poems. I am so glad that my poems have been published,” smiled Sarati Khatun, who has written in Hindi and Bengali. The magazine has come as an achievement for Kalam and its youth staff. It has been conceived, developed, edited and designed by the youth brigade. “A few years back, we were attending workshops, learning how to express ourselves. Today, we are conducting workshops and teaching how to write. The magazine is our dream. We never thought we could be able to bring out the magazine,” smiled Reshma Khatun, of Kalam.

The magazine will be available at the Kalam office, local newspaper and magazine stalls and stands, along with some of the popular bookstores. It is priced at Rs 10 per copy. Kalam: Margins Write works with underprivileged youths to provide them a platform to express their creativity through writing workshops, public readings and publishing small volumes of poetry.

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