The Laxmi Nagar Sarvojanin Durgapuja Samity (LNSDPS) is all set to celebrate its golden jubilee from 3 to 8 October in a grand manner. A group of Bengalis, who settled in Laxmi Nagar in the early 70s felt the need for organising a Durga Puja with a view to encourage community living in their neighbourhood. That small group has now expanded to more than 100 members and their families. The samity has tried to create a special niche with eco-friendly idols in an ambience of safety and communal harmony. LNSDPS’s Durga Puja aims to blend the gaiety of the celebrations with awareness and responsibility towards the environment.

Samity’s general secretary Sukhendu Roy told The Statesman: “We celebrate this festival as a true reminder of the victory of good over evil, a celebration of our rich culture and tradition with a true reflection of community living. Although Bengalis are known for their aesthetic sense, we arrange the Puja traditionally. The decorations, lighting, pandals, Devi idols all have changed so much and have become so modern these days, but if you ask me we still like the traditional pandal, traditional Durga idols and the traditional ways of offering puja to the Goddess. We decorate our pratima with environment-friendly biodegradable materials.”

He added, “We at LNSDPS spend more on quality of puja and bhog or prasad.” The Samity in collaboration with Nabarun Sangha also organises a free health camp for residents. “Since this is our golden jubilee year, we are trying to give people a feel of real Bengal by organising cultural programmes with performances like classical songs, dance, drama, etc., presented by popular artistes from Kolkata as well as local talents,” said Bidesh, one of the samity members. Swaroop Dutta, who is in charge of cultural functions, said,”We have arranged various cultural events and competitions scheduled for devotees during the Puja days. Residents actively participate in a variety of events like cultural shows, sports, quiz programmes, antakshari, food festival, musical chair, conch blowing, etc.” It begins with “Aloye Agomoni”. Udhbodhani Sangeet is performed to welcome Goddess Mother on Panchami day, he said.