The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will assist the Visva Bharati University (VBU) to organise the 125th edition of the Poush Mela in Shantiniketan this year. Earlier this year, the Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati University, Professor Bidyut Chakraborty, had written a letter to the PMO and the Union human resources development ministry stating that the central university does not have adequate infrastructure to organise such a huge mela.
“I have met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi and apprised him about the issue recently after which the PMO has come forward to assist in organising the Poush Mela,”said Professor Bidyut Chakraborty.
Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta,who is also a member of the university court had also raised the issue in Parliament and taken it up with the Union HRD ministry.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur will be helping to set up the mela infrastructure. Last year, though officially about 1260 stalls were allotted, in the end over 3000 stalls were set up. This year it has been decided that only 1400 stalls will be allowed.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has already issued certain directives about organising the Poush Mela. The Computer Science department of IIt Kharagpur will handle the online fees collection for the four-day long poush mela. Poush Mela marks the occasion when Maharshi Debendranath Tagore along with twelve others adopted Brahmo.
The mela kicks off the 7th day of the month of Poush, which is usually on the last week of December. On 4 June this year the VBU after a marathon meeting announced that they will be not be able to organise the Poush Mela this year.
The Basantotsav, which was also organised by VBU ended in a fiasco earlier this year. Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to arrive in Shantiniketan on 10 November by helicopter for the annual convocation ceremony to be held next day at Amrakunja.