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Rajdanga Naba Uday Sangha Puja highlights plight of refugees

The world has witnessed a spurt in such incidents in recent years.

Nishat Nizami | Kolkata |

The images of Syrian migrants, crammed in a raft, and heading for an uncertain destination and Rohingyas crossing the river carrying women and children on their shoulders have shocked humanity. The world has witnessed a spurt in such incidents in recent years. Several lakhs of people were displaced from their homelands in recent times. With no roofs above their heads and no four walls to protect them, millions of homeless souls are forced to live on the edge while running from one country to another with a hope to find a safer place and a better tomorrow.

Instead of grand replicas of temples or a facsimile of a splendid film set which is the present trend, the organisers of Rajdanga Naba Uday Sangha have decided to take their visitors to a gloomy world where millions of stateless people without access to basic rights continue to languish. With ‘Address’ as the central theme, the pandal of this community Puja features several shuttle cocks that represent the displaced people. “Of the total population of the world, around 20 per cent is refugees or people who do not have an address,” said Mr Sushanta Ghosh, secretary of the club.

“Unlike other citizens, refugees do not have an address. They are being driven away from one place to another like a shuttle cock. However, every human being who is born in this world should have an address. But sadly the refugees don’t have any,” Mr Ghosh added. For bringing the theme alive, artist Subrata Mukherjee has used palm nets. More than 1,000 kg of palm nets have been used in the pandal, according to the artist.

Visitors are likely to be enthralled to see a huge shutter cock being lifted by an enormous crane. The inner hall features several human figures as refugees, writhing in pain. However, the idol of the goddess is surrounded by shuttle cocks signifying her presence among the refugees. It is the main attraction of the pandal.