Imbued with the spirit of love and bonding, Durga Puja is not just a festival for the Bengali Hindus — it’s about their identity, wherever they are.
In Bagerhat district, for instance, Durga Puja is in the air. Hectic preparations are on for the five-day festival, slated to begin Monday (October 11) with the slaying of the buffalo demon Mahishasura by Goddess Durga.
The largest festival of the Hindus will culminate with the immersion of idols on October 15.
As many as 633 ‘pandals’ are being set up across the nine upazilas of the district — Bagerhat Sadar, Kachua, Morelganj,Mongla, Sharankhola, Rampal, Fakirhat, Mollahat and Chitalmari.
UNB on Wednesday visited some pandals in the district and found artisans busy giving final touches to the idols of Goddess Durga, her children and Mahishasura.
Two such artisans, Tapan Pal and Tapas Pal of Kotalipara in Gopalganj district, told UNB that their profits have shrunk considerably this year due to the rise in prices of raw materials used for making idols of deities.
“Moreover, the organisers have also reduced their puja budget this year. The second wave of the pandemic and the consequent nationwide lockdown are to be blamed. We are struggling to meet our both ends meet,” the duo said.
Samir Pal, another sculptor, demanded financial assistance from the government.
On the other hand, the local administration has made adequate security arrangements to ensure a peaceful Durga Puja. Apart from the local police and Ansar members, Rapid Action Battalion has been roped in to patrol different areas of the district.
The puja organisers are also gearing up to ensure smooth Durga Puja celebrations.
Abanish Chakrabarty, general secretary of Bagerhat District Puja Udjapon Parishad, said they would try their best to ensure all devotees adhere to Covid-safety protocols while visiting their pandal to have a glimpse of the idols.
“Our volunteers will ensure social distancing inside the pandals and make sure that devotees wear masks,” he said.
Mohammad Azizur Rahman, deputy commissioner, said, “Directives have been issued to the police and puja organisers to ensure all mandatory Covid-safety protocols inside pandals. Impeccable security arrangements have been made to ensure a safe and secure festival.”
Source: United News of Bangladesh