As Durga Puja kicks off on Friday and puja pandals across the city are decked up to celebrate the Goddess, the Lodi Road Sarbojanin Puja Samity is all set to organise its platinum jubilee from 4 to 8 October. Debashis Panja, general secretary of the Samity, told The Statesman that the Puja was started in 1945.

“With the blessings of Maa Durga, this year we are celebrating our platinum jubilee,” he said. “This puja is particularly famous for its unique style of pandal. This year’s theme is Belur Math which symbolises love for humanity, irrespective of caste and religion,” said Panja. He said the Puja festival will be inaugurated by Swamy Shantatmananda of Ramakrishna Mission at 6.p.m. on 3 October.

A number of dignitaries like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are likely to visit this year, he added. Panja said, “We aspire to rise above the narrow divides of caste, colour, religion and ideology in order to be driven by love for humanity. We choose Ramakr ishna Paramhans, Sree Sarada Maa and Swami Vivekananda as the role models who spread their universal messages – “Love for Humanity and service to living things are the best religion and service to Almighty”. On the Durga idol, Panja said, “We are doing exclusive decoration for pratima (idol) of Maa Durga with ‘Daker Saaj’, special illumination (lighting) from Chandannagore.

The lighting also includes a salute to India and the Indian Army.” Artisans have come from Kolkata to decorate the marquee. Panja said in a bid to make the Puja eco-friendly, serving plates will be made from areca leaf. The celebration will witness renowned artists from Kolkata performing live concerts.