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Kolkata puja pandal’s migrant worker idol bears resemblance to this 1989 painting

The painting is similar to the migrant worker mother's idol at Barisha Club's pandal, who is also seen holding a child, signifying Lord Kartika.

Barisha Club's Durga puja idol (right) looks similar to 'Darpamoyee' (left), a 1989 oil painting. (Source: UPAJ India/Facebook, Express photo)

Pictures of a Kolkata puja pandal’s migrant worker idol in place of Goddess Durga have already been doing the rounds on social media.

Based on the theme of ‘relief’ amid the pandemic, Barisha Club in Behala, Kolkata, installed their puja pandal and idols this year as a tribute to women migrant workers.

A migrant worker mother replaced the traditional Durga idol at a puja pandal in Kolkata.

UPAJ India, a non-governmental organisation, has now shared the “true inspiration” for the idol. It is from an oil painting called ‘Darpamoyee’ by artist Bikash Bhattacharjee from his ‘Durga’ series, 1989.


Bhattacharjee’s picture features a mother carrying a child in her arms, in the backdrop of what looks like a river. On the mother’s forehead is the third eye, perhaps a manifestation of divinity in ordinary women. The painting is similar to the migrant worker mother’s idol at Barisha Club’s pandal, who is also seen holding a child, signifying Lord Kartika.

Read| Pandemic puja prompts (adventurous) Bengalis to discover charms of Bengal this vacation season

Bhattacharjee’s paintings are known for depicting the lives of average, middle-class Bengalis. He worked in oils, acrylics, water-colours, conté and collage. He was awarded Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour bestowed by India’s National Academy of Arts. He passed away on December 18, 2006.

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