The gloom that descended on the city due to the lockdown to combat the spread of Covid-19 failed to dampen the spirit of big budget puja organisers who have started preparations for the festival, though it is five-month away. On Monday, the organizers of Santosh Mitra Square made advance payment to the Kumartului artisan Mintu Pal for the idol of the puja this year. Pradip Ghosh, president of the puja committee said the advance payment was made to ensure that Pal can rope in assistants and finish the idol-making work on time.
“This year, the scenario is different. Studios at Kumartuli are lying vacant as the workers are stuck in their respective districts. But that does not mean that we will not celebrate our biggest festival,” said Ghosh. He added that a major portion from their puja budget this year would be kept aside for the needy.
Ekdalia Evergreen organizers will make the customary advance payment to a Kumartuli artist in June (on Ulta Rath day) as has been the tradition of the club for years. The club president Subrata Mukherjee said they won’t compromise with the spirit of the festival. “We will make it happen in a most befitting way. We don’t want to compromise with the tradition associated with our puja,” he said. However, Mukherjee reminded the present scenario arising out of the spread of coronavirus in large parts of the city, saying that they would like to spend a large chunk of the puja budget on distributing essentials to those in distress.
Debasis Kumar, president of Tridhara Sarbojanin too does not want the puja spirit to get dampened by the virus. In fact, the puja committee has already made an agreement with the theme artist Gourangya Kuilya for making the idol. However, after Covid-19 struck the city, Kumar made a major change in the plan that includes helping the needy with essentials.
Naktala Udayan Sangha will also not be lagging behind in this regard. Bappaditya Dasgupta, one fo the key puja functionaries, said the committee had already booked an artisan for making the idol. He added that they would maintain social distancing in the puja pandal where no unnecessary gathering would be allowed. He also laid emphasis on charity with the help of the puja budget this year.
Source: Times of India