It is that time of the year. The fragrance of ‘Shiuli’, the delicate orange and white flowers yet blooming, flock with the autumn breeze to Harald Durga Puja, but frankincense is missing and overtaken by the sound of a serene calm celebration. There is a virus and fear in the air. The Bengali community in the Delhi-NCR region is staying away from the Durga Puja festival, a community in parks and other open spaces. Elsewhere it is more pronounced than Chittaranjan Park, often referred to as ‘Mini Bengal’ .. It is two days before Durga Puja begins and Delhi’s predominantly Bengali neighborhood has never been quiet.
Parks that have served as large places for life for decades embellish the idols of Durga for five days every year. Keeping in mind Kovid-19, the worship committees at CR Park, as is known in the South Delhi area, and elsewhere in Delhi-NCR to keep the festivities down, hosting rituals, online sculptures, cultural events, ‘bhoga’ ‘Has been decided and also offered customary flowers at many places. On Monday, 12 Durga Puja committees of Chittaranjan Park, Greater Kailash 1 & 2, Alaknanda, and Kalkaji met in a temple and unanimously decided that the worship ceremony would be suspended this year due to a coronovirus epidemic.
The meeting was organized by Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and was attended by sub-divisional magistrates, police officers and other agencies. “The majority of CR Park’s population and members of worship committees are senior citizens and it is important that they stay indoors and avoid contact with unknown people in pandals,” said Bhardwaj, an MLA from the ruling Aam Aadmi Party of Delhi. According to a statement issued after the meeting, almost all the committees will host a small “Kalash Puja / Ghat Puja”. The Fair Ground Committee of CR Park, known for organizing grand celebrations, includes not only unique pooja themes, but also cultural performances by prominent artists of Bengal.
“Unfortunately this year we are not organizing Durga Puja on a large scale given the unprecedented situation. To protect the public from this contagious disease, no ‘pandal’ will be put up to prevent large gatherings. Organizing committee member Avik Mitra told PTI, “No event will be held except a ceremony called ‘Got Poojo’, which will be performed on Ashtami with more than 15 members and priests in our fair ground park.” Durga Puja is celebrated on four days – Shashthi, Saptami, Ashtami and Navami, which falls from 22 to 24 October this year. On the day of Dashami, devotees worship Aaradhya on the Goddess and the idol is immersed. As per the Delhi government guidelines, 15 committee members including two priests will be allowed to physically engage in rituals within the park’s premises, for which the final list is to be submitted to the police. For others, ‘Ghot Poojo’ will be streamed live on the committee’s Facebook page.
“All those who enter the premises must submit a self-attested declaration stating that they have not come in direct contact with any Kovid positive patient in the last 48 hours. “Arogya Setu App will be compulsory for 15 members. Mitra said that hand cleaning, wearing masks and maintaining social distance would be of utmost priority for all members. The B-Block Pooja Committee of CR Park has also reduced the annual five-day festival with ‘Ghote Poojo’ to one day festivities on October 24 from 7 am. Only the priest and two assistants will be allowed to participate in the ritual.
Calling unprecedented action for an unprecedented time, the committee’s general secretary Suprakash Majumdar said. “This year, the committee has decided that flowers, sweets and fruits cannot be offered from individual households. Nothing will be accepted by the priest due to the Kovid-19 ban. Majumdar said that there will be no ‘pandal’, idol, entertainment / cultural programs, sports programs, ‘bhog’ distribution in our grounds. However, the B Block committee has to accept donations in cash as well as online and through checks, all exempt from income tax. Pooja spirits are running less than Delhi’s ‘mini-Bengal’. Kovid on its mind, Green Park’s Matri Mandir Samaj has also chosen the ‘Ghot Poojo’ path, despite the state government’s approval for small scale celebrations.
“It will be very difficult to resume it once the government allows the puja ceremony. We will stick to our plan to perform ‘Ghot Poojo’. We will follow all the rituals and will not take any short cuts as far as worship is concerned, ”said Debashish Saha, chief coordinator of the Mother Temple Sarabajanin Durga Puja Committee. While the members of the committee will be paying respects to the deity from their respective homes, the committee has decided to send money to all the functionaries associated with the ceremony every year. He said, ‘We have decided to pay the needy workers who were involved in our worship like’ Dhaki ‘(drummers), cooks and security personnel. Also, we will donate to the PM’s Relief Fund.
Caution is important in the suburban city of Gurgaon falling in Haryana.
The DLF5 Durga Puja Committee of Gurgaon has put the number of people within the pandal at 45 at any time. “We will keep it as simple as possible… minimal, functional for pandal decoration. This year our theme is about accepting nature and adopting minimalism while appreciating the value of life, people and our society. The committee spokesman said, “In addition to keeping all rituals and activities of worship to a minimum, we want to cut all costs wherever possible, and in the meantime use part of the funds raised to help the affected people Want to do. ” While individuals will be physically allowed to participate in the rituals, who are unwilling to come to the pandal, especially for the elderly and other vulnerable communities, ceremonies will be broadcast online on the committee’s website and its social media handle.
“We have created a website for booking Puja Yatra slots – 30-minute slots in each, 25 visitors and volunteers in each slot, security and up to 20 sweepers. No overlap or cross directional movement will be allowed. Once they are inside the venue, the attendees will be socially disturbed. The committee member said that flowerless would be ‘Pushpanjali’ to avoid any common touch points. The website will also be used to coordinate food delivery to reduce congestion. He said, “There will be pre-packaged takeaway og indulgence ‘a day before. People will not be allowed to sit and have food. The spokesperson said that there is only a clear reference to the takeaway package booked through the website.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without textual modifications. Only the title has been changed.)
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