KOLKATA: Chorbagan Sarbojanin Durgotsav will gift 13 ‘ekchala’ Durga idols to clubs and organisations of small-scale Pujas, who are in severe financial distress due to the Covid situation.
On Saturday, members of Chorbagan Puja committee held a lottery to select 10 Pujas out of 33 organisers who had applied for help. In addition, it had set aside names of three Puja committees — one organised by sex workers, another by an all-women’s team and a third from East Midnapore — who will also be gifted idols. Each idol will cost around Rs 55,000. These apart, the north Kolkata club will provide a monetary help of Rs 10,000 to three more Puja organisers. In all, Chorbagan will spend around Rs 7.5 lakh on the endeavour. “Last year, many did not get sponsors and had taken loans to organise the Puja, hoping to make good this year. But with the pandemic still raging, several organisers are in dire straits. Many are unsure if they can at all bear the basic cost for this year’s Puja. Since we had planned to do a frugal Durga Puja this year, we decided to provide assistance to a few in distress,” said Chorbagan Sarbojanin Durgotsav general secretary Jayanta Banerjee.
The idols are being crafted at the very ground where Chorbagan Puja is held. Artisans from Midnapore are working under the guidance of artist Bimal Samanta. All 13 idols will be 12-ft ekchala. “The initiative is also helping artisans who were not getting orders this year,” explained Samanta, who is the theme artist for Chorbagan. Initally, 54 Puja committees had collected the forms of which 35 submitted the application for assistance.