As West Bengal gears up for its largest competition, the Durga Puja, which begins subsequent week, some organising committees have determined to painting in their pandals (momentary sheds), the travails of thousands and thousands of migrant workers in the wake of the lockdown imposed on March 25 to battle the coronavirus illness — preserving with the pattern of pandals reflecting up to date themes.
At least 10 million migrant workers left cities — many misplaced jobs as a result of of the lockdown — and returned to their houses in the hinterland. With particular trains for them being launched solely on May 1, many ended up strolling dwelling in April, and even later. Some employed vans and buses. A number of cycled again dwelling. West Bengal alone is estimated to have seen the return of not less than one million such workers.
“Not only are we installing statues of migrant workers on the move to portray one of the biggest human migrations the country witnessed after Partition, but we are also coming up with a statue of actor Sonu Sood, who booked chartered flights, trains and buses to help migrant workers return home. A real bus will be parked in our pandal and there will be statues of migrant workers seated inside the bus,” mentioned Ranjit Chakraborty, secretary of Keshtopur Prafulla Kanan (Pashim) Adhibasi Prinda puja committee in north Kolkata.
The puja shall be inaugurated by migrant workers on October 19 and residents in the space will change off their lights at houses, gentle diyas and preserve a minute’s silence to mourn the passing of migrant workers who died on the approach again dwelling.
Artisans at a puja pandal in Salt Lake’s AK block have made life-sized statues, and painted murals to depict scenes of the huge exodus the nation witnessed throughout the 68-day lockdown.
Bedraggled migrant workers — women and men, younger and outdated – carrying belongings and kids on their head and shoulders, strolling tons of of miles down nationwide and state highways to achieve their houses turned a typical sight throughout the pandemic. A number of died, regardless that the centre mentioned in the parliament that it has no information on migrant deaths.
“More than a dozen statues, depicting people from various walks of life, are being installed in the pandal. They would represent the local press-wala, the panipuri wala, the tea stall owner who basically work as migrants workers in cities. Even the idol of Goddess Durga has been made in such a way that she resembles a simple village woman,” mentioned Raja Banik, one of the organisers of the 33-12 months-outdated Salt Lake’s AK Block Puja.
In one other puja pandal in west Kolkata, organisers have chosen reduction as their theme, changing the idol of Goddess Durga with a statute of a migrant girl carrying her little one. Her kids, together with a son with an elephant-head stroll behind her.
“The family represents Goddess Durga and her children, including Ganesha and Kartikeya. The woman is a migrant worker and a mother who is searching for food and water for her children,” mentioned Rintu Das, the artisan.
In West Bengal, puja pandals in and round Kolkata are constructed round a present theme — from a socio-financial downside to the Indian Premier League to cyclone Amphan.
“We are portraying the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan through jute work — collapsed huts, uprooted trees and dead cattle. The suffering of the people will also be depicted through these jute artworks, which are being deisgned on the pandal walls,” mentioned Gautam Biswas, secretary of Simla Vivekananda Sporting Club.
Cyclone Amphan, which hit the West Bengal coast on May 20, killed 98 folks and affected round 100 million folks in 10 districts of south Bengal leaving a path of destruction.
“In our pandal we are depicting this destruction. The moment people enter, they will be able to see the destruction the cyclone has inflicted in rural Bengal and the plight of the people,” mentioned Timir Sarkar, joint secretary of Chakraberia Sarbajanin Durgotsab which is in its seventy fifth 12 months.
Durga Puja shall be celebrated for 4 days beginning October 23. This 12 months, not less than 37,000 pujas are being organized throughout the state, together with not less than 2500 in Kolkata. Around 1700 pujas are organized by girls throughout Bengal. The listing doesn’t embrace these organized inside housing societies and homes.
The festivities proceed for not less than per week. The large-theme pujas parade down the street to take part in a carnival throughout immersion the place hundreds collect yearly. The carnival has been cancelled this 12 months as a result of of the restrictions on account of Covid-19