After a two-year break,  pujo being celebrated in Delhi with themes around women, independence

October 03, 2022 01:19 am | Updated 01:55 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

A puja pandal in New Delhi.

A puja pandal in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: MONEY SHARMA

From celebrating India’s 75 years of Independence and inviting widows of Sundarbans to introducing an all-woman Durga Puja committee, organisers have spent their time and money to fashion the most creative Durga Puja pandal this year, while focusing on a social message after a two-year COVID-induced hiatus.

At the Aram Bagh Durga Puja Samiti, yet another creative theme with a social message has been introduced.

This year, Samiti chairman Abhijit Bose said, families from Sundarbans, a mangrove and tiger-infested forest area in West Bengal, are raising awareness about the rising number of widows in their tribes.

Saurav Chakraborty, secretary of the Durga Puja Committee at Chittaranjan Park’s Cooperative Ground, said, “The pandal this year looks like a traditional house in Kolkata, it reminds one of the zamindaars of ancient times.”

In Ghaziabad, the Shalimar Garden Mahila Sewa Samiti has an all-woman committee for this year’s puja.

Also Read | Why is Durga Puja the most anticipated festival of the year?

Papri Chatterjee, Samiti president and a school principal, said women have been involved in organising all the events.

“Along with fund collectors and priests, the dhaakis (drummers) too are women,” Ms. Chatterjee said.

She went on to add that many non-Bengalis and Muslims have participated in the fund collection.

“Our theme this year is “ Maa-er pujo, ma-eder diye (Mother is being worshipped by mothers),” Ms. Chatterjee said.

Eco-friendly puja

Poorvanchal Bongio Samiti general secretary Mrinal Biswas said most committees are now focusing on hosting eco-friendly pujas.

“Our theme for this year’s puja is ‘75 years of Independence and Dilli Chalo’. We have an 11-foot idol of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and other known and unknown historical freedom fighters too,” he said, adding that a replica of the Red Fort has been created to give the pandal a vibrant look.

According to Som Prakash Mitra, a member of the Delhi Durga Puja Samiti in Kashmere Gate, the oldest in Delhi, COVID-19 protocols have been put in place and masks have been made mandatory.

“We sanitise the pandals frequently too,” Mr. Prakash said.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) O.P. Mishra said 620 applications were received for holding Ramlila, Durga Puja and Dusshera events.

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