One of the fastest growing areas of Kolkata New Town is all set to have its community Durga Puja.
Even though the gated communities and the blocks have their own Durga Puja celebrations, the common refrain has been that there has been no mega Puja, where they can mingle and celebrate. So, the birth of the New Town Sarbojanin Committee.
Committee president Urmila Sen, one of the driving forces behind the move, said, “No single baroari sarbojanin Puja exists in New Town. This initiative is to bring all the people together. People have been having individual Pujas at their own housing complexes but not one a single. We hope the Puja people will be able to claim it as their own. We are planning this on a bigger scale and people here have not seen anything like this before.”
The new Puja at the township is coming up at a time when chief minister Mamata Banerjee has already announced that Bengal will be celebrating Pujas in a grand manner after two years of lull due to the pandemic.
She points out that Salt Lake too started off with individual blocks and community pujas. Talking of FD Block Durga Puja, Mrs Sen said, “Pujas in Salt Lake started gaining prominence after FD Block came out with their Titanic theme. Now, Salt Lake has so many Pujas, which are famous and people come over to see them. Likewise, in New Town, somebody had to take the initiative and New Town Sabajanin Durgotsav Community is the answer to it.”
At a very nascent stage, the budget or theme are yet to be decided, say the committee members. Hoping to organise it on a bigger scale, the organizers plan to hold it at the big City Square grounds in New Town. “There will also be a fair accompanying the Puja. Our advisory committee members are also thinking on those lines. Our Khunti Puja (tent erection ceremony) is on 13 July, when we hope to have more things to share with you,” said Mrs Sen.
She acknowledged that Unesco’s recognition of Bengal’s Durga Puja as intangible cultural heritage has given them the impetus to go ahead. “The fact that her efforts have been recognized by the world body has also inspired us,” she said.
Noted painter Suvaprasanna is doing the logo for the Puja. He said, “They requested me to design the logo. A bustling place like New Town will surely attract a lot of people. After the Unesco tag to Pujas in Bengal, I’m sure they will be inspired to keep up to the standards.”
Hidco chairman Debasish Sen, who is credited with the development of New Town, said, “Many people’s economic condition will get a fillip. It is a good thing to do.”