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‘She is our Durga’, Puja committees pay tribute to the suffering of migrant workers

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Many Durga Puja committees in West Bengal have chosen topics such as the hardships migrant workers face while returning home during the blocking of the Covid-19 pandemic issue for the five-day festival starting October 22nd.

While migrant travel and their plight in the first months of the blockade hit a chord with many organizers, others have either paid tribute to Covid-19 fighters or pointed to the coronavirus as the Mahisasura demon that would be destroyed by the Goddess.

The festival is relatively low this year due to the pandemic and economic recession caused by the blockade, but many organizers of Durga Puja still have efforts for puja based on themes as in previous years for contemporary issues, designing pandal decoration, lighting and interiors – a prevailing trend for the past 20 years.

Read also: Dalit organizations in West Bengal criticize Mahishasur comparison with Covid-19

Considering the issue of migrants, the Barisha Club, on the southern outskirts of the city, has installed the idol of a woman resting briefly on the street path with a baby in her lap and two children.

“She is our Durga. Eight other hands are seen in the background. She embodies the pain, crying, suffering and resilience of migrant workers when business activities disappeared and road communication stopped. But still, migrant workers did not stand back. They boarded in “Vehicles themselves, walked thousands of miles, collapsed but got back on their feet. This is our tribute to migrants,” said a puja committee spokesman.

In Naktala Udayan Sangha, a truck is parked near the mosque with models of migrant workers, colliding to get into the vehicle.

“Our pandal is called a wave. It reflects the waves of migrants returning from different corners. We have hired migrant workers from different districts to describe the topic,” said Pujan committee office holder Anjan Das.

The return of migrant workers in various modes of transport – by bicycle, truck – or by walking miles, has been described through murals and patterns on the Kestopur Prafullakanon Paschim Adhibasibrindo pedal, said Secretary Ranjit Chakraborty.

“Our pandal will be inaugurated by migrants who have been working full time since last month and during the inauguration the entire locality will be plunged into darkness for a while to show respect for migrants who had died on the way back,” tha Chakraborty.

The battle of Covid fighters against the pathogen also appears in pandals.

In the Salt Lake AK Block, vendor models, phuchka vendors, vegetable vendors are placed on either side of the pandal while Durga is described as a peasant woman.

“Our pandal is about the hardships faced by these people, who work in big cities to live from their remote homes in the countryside. This is our way of remembering their hardships during the blockade,” a spokesman said. of the puja committee Raja Banik said

The battle of the Covid warriors and the killing of the ‘corona sur’ also appears in some pujas in the state.

Sahid Colony Sarbojonin Durgotsab in Sodepur, a well-known puppy in the Parganas North 24 district, has the theme of this year’s holiday in Covid-19 fighters as doctors, other health workers and front line fighters like police and other services. emergency.

“We are setting up models of doctors and other essential services as people approach penalties and there will be poster campaigns for these people contributing to the fight against coronavirus,” said a puja committee spokesman.

Shakti Sangha, a puja committee in Birati on the northern outskirts, has placed the order for Coronasur in Kumartuli.

“Our artisan has made the asura head look like a virus based on the images we saw on TV. The hair, the ear, the crown of the demon will have nails like the virus. We all pray that the goddess kills the virus after the battle,” said the treasurer Sudip Sau.

A pandal in the form of the coronavirus has also been set up by a puja committee in Balurghat in South Dinajpur district.

“We had built pandals formed on the Titanic, at the Victoria Memorial in the past. This year all our members wanted to make the pandal look like a coronavirus as it is in everyone’s mind. When the virus will finally be gone. “This pandal will also remind people the virus is still raging and we must always be protected from it,” said a member of the puja committee.

Samajsebi Sangha, a well-known puppy in southern Kolkata, will have a stall near the pandal where a doctor will be present with medical staff to treat any emergencies and check people’s temperature if required, a puja committee spokesman said.

There are about 37,000 Pujas Durga being organized in the state.

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