Kolkata: With the Covid-19 pandemic still watering down the festivities of Durga Puja in the country for the second year in a row, many puja committees in West Bengal have made ‘Covid-19 and its effect on the common man’ as their theme to highlight how citizens are living and fighting this deadly virus.
“Vaccination Wins Over Corona” is the chosen theme of the members of the Youth Association of Mohammad Ali Park.
Speaking to the media, Surendra Kr. Sharma, General Secretary of Youth Association of Mohammad Ali Park Durga Puja said, “2020 was about Covid-19 infection, 2021 is all about vaccination, the only weapon against the disease. So, this year, we are attempting to propagate the importance of vaccination from our Puja premises. The theme will revolve around prevention against a pandemic and will specifically explore the significance of vaccination. Visitors will not be allowed inside the park but will have to get a glimpse of the Puja from the road. The goddess there can be seen very well from a distance of 15 feet.”
“Nothing is more important than public health and with coronavirus still on we need to be alert,” he further added.
Last year Mohammad Ali Park had stunned the city by replacing the traditional idol of Mahishasura with that of ‘Coronashura’.
Meanwhile, Hatibagan Nabin Pally this year has decided to pay tribute to their loved ones who lost their lives in the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the organisers, the theme of their pandal is ‘Tarpan’ and the pandal has been decorated with various articles associated with the ritual. According to one of the organisers, ”The club has lost 56 people in the neighbourhood to Covid-19, among whom 10 to 12 persons were directly associated with the Puja committee thus a tribute to them.”
Telengabagan, on the other hand, is portraying the disastrous effects of Covid’s second wave, but also establish the hope of a positive future at the same time. The pandal has been structured like an oxygen plant and the idols instead of carrying weapons spread messages of peace.
In Dum Dum Park, Tarun Sangha, this year has dedicated its pandal to all the local grocery shops that had helped people through multiple lockdowns. The Puja pandal has been decorated with jars from local shops.
Some more positive news awaits diners and restaurant owners in the city, as they welcomed the decision of the state government to allow them to function as per normal working hours.
The state government said in a notification that relaxations were being granted to restaurants, shops to be open as per “normal functioning hours” from October 10 to 20.