Kolkata: Durga puja committees cut costs to support orphans, poor
(Sourced from PTI)
With West Bengal still recovering from the ravages of the COVID-19 second wave and Cyclone Yaas, several Durga puja committees in Kolkata have decided to allot a portion of this year's budget for humanitarian causes. Samajsebi Sangha Durga Puja said it would bear a year's educational and medical expenses of 10 children orphaned due to COVID-19 as part of its project Sneho.
Notably, Samajsebi Sangha Durga Puja is one of the big-ticket pujas in Kolkata. Arijit Moitra, the committee's general secretary, told PTI, "Puja is all about serving humanity. We have decided to shun all pomp and show this Durga puja."
"In our locality, a child lost both parents to the second wave of COVID-19. Our members have unanimously decided to chip in for 10 such children... those deprived of affection by a sudden cruel blow of fate," Moitra said. Lauding the initiative, Rasbehari MLA Debashis Kumar said, "Goddess Durga will be happier if the puja organizers reach out to the poor and the needy."
The popular College Square Durga Puja committee will be distributing books and toys among children in the Sundarbans region, where two cyclones--Cyclone Yaas and Cyclone Amphan have wreaked havoc in the course of a year. "Our team will visit Chhoto Mollakhali area in Sundarbans on October 3 to hand over books and games," one of the organizers said.
"We will give extravagant illumination a miss this year," the organizer said. Meanwhile, the Bhawanipore 75 Pally has decided to come to the aid of Chhau artists of Purulia district, who have been badly hit by the lockdown. Chhau, a traditional dance form, has performers retelling episodes of Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Puranas, donning colorful costumes and masks.
"Many artists, craftsmen are facing financial hardships as festivals and fairs have been called off across the country amid the pandemic. We will do our bit to help at least some of them," Subir Das, the secretary of Bhawanipore 75 Pally, said.
At SB Park Puja in Thakurpukur, the organizers had earlier said that they are looking forward to a theme that will meet the aesthetic parameters within a limited budget. To recall, SB Park Puja won laurels last year for replacing the traditional Durga idol with that of a migrant woman laborer to highlight the plight of such workers amid the pandemic.