KOLKATA: Durga Puja is a festival of sharing and caring. A festival which brings a smile to everyone’s face irrespective of caste, creed or religion. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many puja organisers have come to the aid of the lesser privileged section of society who have been very badly affected.
For the members of Bhabanipur 75 Palli this year’s theme is “MANOBIK” (humanity). The Bhabanipur 75 Palli puja committee has decided to come to the aid of ”Chhau” artistes of the 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 colourful costumes and masks.
They will depict a small village of Purulia and will bring the government enlisted ‘chhau’ dancers and their families to Kolkata. Subir Das, Club Secretary said, “We are dedicating this puja to kids and family members of Chhau artists in Purulia, donating a major share of the subscription and the state’s dole to them, along with making the premises available for them to perform and sell their goods.
This initiative is taken by keeping with the financial losses everyone is facing due to pandemic. Many artists and craftsmen are facing financial hardships as festivals and fairs have been called off across the country amid the pandemic.
“Anup Kumar Mondol, one of the organisers told India Ahead, “The pandal hoppers who come to visit the pandal will get the opportunity to watch live Chhau dance performances and also get to buy the handicrafts made by them. The craftsman will not only sell but the buyers will get the first hand opportunity to see how the product is made.
We have brought around 50 odd families from a small village called Charida in Purulia and they will be staying here from prothoma till Dashami and we have taken the responsibility of providing them with places to stay and their footing. In the end we will also be providing them with some financial assistance.”
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government, for the second year in a row, has announced its decision to cancel the annual Durga Puja carnival, which involves the display of Kolkata’s top pandal themes in a parade before the idol immersion.