An official said Wednesday that the Kolkata Durga Fascia Community Committee will ensure that everyone involved in the ceremony and other related work is vaccinated within the next three months. Partha Ghosh, an official at the Durgotsab Forum, told PTI that the Fa Conference will also ensure that people visiting pandal wear masks to cover their noses and maintain social distance.
“From our members and the locals who frequent pandals to artisans, priests, dhakis and electricians, everyone should get vaccinated against COVID in the next three months,” he said. “We want everyone to get two doses, but for the dhakis (traditional drummers) who came from the village two days before the bid, we will make sure they get at least one dose,” Ghosh added. The
Durgotsab Forum, the umbrella organization for 550 Durgotsab communities in Kolkata and adjacent areas, has also issued guidelines to ensure the celebration follows COVID safety protocol. According to the guidelines, the pandals should be built in such a way that the devotees can see the idol from a distance without having to get close.
“For ‘pushpanjali’, it is not allowed to provide cut fruits and physical distance must be maintained during the ceremony,” he said. The guidelines to be presented to the government are similar to those set by the Calcutta High Court last year, as it prohibits people from entering Pandal.
Ghosh, a member of the Shibmandir Durga Puja Committee in southern Kolkata, said that the Fa Conference hopes that, like last year, under the threat of the third wave of pandemics, there will not be a large number of voters. He said: “The challenge for crowdfunding bidding committees like ours will be how to strike a balance so that we can build pandals while preserving the aesthetics and at the same time see the idols from a distance.” The city’s
Durga Puja Conference Committee Also focuses on digital presence to ensure that people can view artwork at home. Soumen Dutta, secretary of the award-winning Kashi Bose Lane Durga Puja Committee in North Kolkata, said: “We will project idols and decorations on social media in such a way that people feel unnecessary to come to the party.
“We will attach great importance to digital presentation and images projected with 3D effects, which makes it a rich experience, even better than physical viewing,” he said. Several large-budget Durga Puja committees, including Sreebhumi Sporting Club, Santoshpur Lake Pally, Hindustan Club and Shib Mandir, held “Khuti Puja” in Ratha Jatra.
“Khuti Puja” or the ritual of worshiping a pillar marked the beginning of the construction of pandals. The celebration will begin on October 12 this year with Maha Saptami and will last until October 15 – Bijaya Dashami.