Durga Puja, the biggest festival celebrated by Bengalis around the world, came to an end on Friday – Vijay Dashami. As married women take part in sindur khela – a special farewell ritual by applying vermillion on the goddess and others – a puja committee in South Dumdum made sure that Covid protocols are followed while celebrating the event. A group of women participated in the ritual donning PPE kits, masks and gloves.
In a video going, the women were seen dancing to the beats of the dhaak, enjoying themselves keeping in mind the pandemic is not over.
With an aim to spread awareness against Covid-19 in such a safe way, the organisers stressed that the pandemic is not over and hoped next year they can welcome the goddness without masks. Taking to the local media, they said that many families lost their loved ones in the recent past and they didn’t want the celebrations to add to other’s pain.
However, that’s not the only reason why the puja committee is earning praise online. According to ABP Ananda, the initiative was also taken to promote harmony and be inclusive, as women dancing in the PPE kits belonged to the backward areas of Bolpur. The tribal women participating in the dance were from both Hindu as well as Muslim community, the report added.
Watch the video here:
The five-day-long festivities come to an end with Sindur Khela among other rituals, before the idols are escorted for immersion in the Ganga. With sweets and vermillion, devotees bid adieu to the goddess while chanting ‘Aschhe Bochhor Abar Hobe’, meaning the goddess will return again next year.
Although the festival is celebrated in a grand way, it was scaled back this year like last year keeping the pandemic in mind. In a directive from the Calcutta High Court earlier, they had allowed a maximum of 45 people in a large pandal and a maximum of 10 in a small mandapa for the last day celebrations.