Like many others, Gurudas Roy has been jobless over the months. Mr Roy, in his late 30s, is a carpenter by profession. The Covid-19 induced lockdown has, however, robbed him of his job.
A sole earning member of a poor family of five, Mr Roy has not been getting any orders of late. However, the College Para Puja Committee, which is celebrating its 70th Durga Puja this year, has given him an opportunity to bring back smiles in the faces of his family members during the pujas.
Mr Roy, a resident of Belakoba in Jalpaiguri district, is now busy with decorations of the puja pandal.
“I have gone jobless since March and problems are growing when it comes to keeping my family going. I have never faced any such situation. I used to work in houses and shops and it would help me run my family (including a school going daughter and son),” he said.
“However, now I will be able to buy new clothes for them on the occasion of Durga Puja,” he added.
Amit Oraon, 25, another carpenter, has been forced to turn into a tea worker.
“As the financial condition of the people has been severely hit, orders have stopped coming,” Mr Oraon, also a resident of Belakoba, said.
“Since I was not getting any orders, I started working in the Shikarpur tea plantation in Jalpaiguri. I used to pluck tea leaves as a daily wage earner to run my family,” he added.
He has a wife and a daughter in the family.
A fine artist, Dibyendu Poddar, who is supervising the art work and decorations of the pandal, has also missed an opportunity to visit Paris in August due to the lockdown.
“We are in extreme distress, as art tuitions have been suspended due to the prevailing uncertainty,” Mr Poddar said.
Puja organisers, on the other hand, said they have tried to stand by those persons with their limited capacity.
“We have slashed the budget of our puja owing to the situation. But despite that, we feel the urge to help those in distress during the lockdown despite our limited capacity. It gives us a satisfaction,” said the treasurer of the College Para Puja Committee, Sayan Chowdhury.