Departing from the usual trend where Durga Puja pandals are using themes focussing on brighter side of life, organisers of Haridevpur New Sporting Club are using this year’s Puja to highlight the flipside of society which speaks on the hardships faced by the women labourers in brick kilns and masonry. Urban life is unimaginable without concrete walls. However, the city’s residents have hardly any time to spare a thought about the hardships of the labourers, particularly women labourers, who give shape to urban dreams with their toil.
To give the pandal a real life feel, human figures, columns and walls have been made out of bricks. Artist Animesh Das has used his skills to bring animation to the theme. He is using 3D human figures out of bricks. “The condition of the women labourers and masons is bad. We hardly have time to actually spare a thought about them,” said the artist. The pandal has been designed as a brick kiln where visitors would be greeted by seven-feet human figures depicted as labourers in brick kilns and masons.
The women labourers have been named as ‘Reja,’ which is an old name used for these workers in old Bengali scriptures, according to the artist. Women masons and brick kiln labourers carrying bricks on their heads and babies in their laps have been installed at various corners of the pandal, underscoring the plight of a woman worker. The organisers hoped that the Puja would draw a good crowd that would witness deft artistry in juxtaposition with the theme.
The idol of Durga has been designed in the form of a woman labourer. Along with the traditional weapons, the deity will carry bricks on her head and a Lord Ganesha in her lap, symbolising mother’s care.