Near about a month left for the much awaited Durga Puja — the largest religious festival of West Bengal. But one question in the mind of each and every Bengali is that how will this festival be celebrated in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. All of us were expecting the situation to get under some control by the time puja arrives, but our expectations have been shattered. Though the celebrations will not be cancelled, but they are surely going to be scaled down this year.
Puja organisers are searching for ways to hold the puja in the best and safest manner possible. The main thing that they have to keep in mind is that the festival must be arranged in such a way that the killer disease doesn’t spread. Some decisions regarding offering puja virtually was also being made. However, that cannot solve the problem as everyone of us doesn’t have the access to smart phones. Generally, the preparations for erecting the puja pandal start a month or two before the actual puja begins. But this year is an exception to all other years. The limitation to the number of workers is a significant problem the puja organisers are facing. A part of the funds is also being used to ensure the safety of the workers so that they don’t get the infection.
The forum for Durgotsav (a collective of Durga Puja organisers) have decided to abide by a new set of norms in order to prevent growth of the COVID-19 infection. They have agreed not to build the pandals very high and to ensure regular sanitization of the pandal as well as the visitors. Open air pandals will be a part of the new protocol so that viewers can catch a glimpse of the idol from a distance. Different committees have different plans of organising puja the coming October — some want to perform only the rituals while some wish to perform it in the regular way. The final plans about Puja will however, be based on the decisions taken by the Government.
So the cloud of uncertainty still remain— will we be able to enjoy puja like any other year? The celebration and idea of pandal hopping will not remain the same, as we all will need to maintain social distancing and other rules to fight COVID-19, in order to remain safe and prevent the disease from spreading.
We, at applex.in have come up with a new initiative keeping in mind that the essence of Puja doesn’t fade away completely due to the Pandemic. applex.in will be launching ‘Utsav’ : Mahamari te Mahotsav, an android application which will be a complement to Durga Puja Celebrations during the hard times for people across the globe as well as of all age groups from children to grandparents.
Know more about Utsav-
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