- The COVID Care Network in West Bengal will hand-out an award to the puja organisers, who will successfully uphold Covid safety protocols
- City folks can start visiting the pandals 4 days before the puja begins and 3 days after the Vijaya Dashami day
THD NewsDesk, Kolkata: During Durga Puja celebrations, it is a common sight to see various awards for different categories being handed out to the puja committees. This trend is not only limited to Bengal; it has expanded beyond the state and the country too, wherever there is a thriving Bengali community.
Usually, there are distinctive classifications when it comes to the awards, like, the best pandal concept or theme, a unique idol sculpture, best design and so on. But since we’ve been forced to accept the norms of the ‘new normal’ during this pandemic, a new award category has been listed out.
The COVID Care Network (CCN) in West Bengal, has orchestrated a clever plan, which is also much-needed. They will hand-out an award to the puja organisers, who will be successful in upholding the Covid safety protocols in the best ways, during the span of the puja days.
The awards will be bestowed upon the puja organisers across 10 districts in Bengal.
Satyarup Siddhanta, a member of the CCN, was quoted saying. “What seemed very interesting to me was that the organisers were equally excited about this. They even asked us to come and spread awareness about COVID and how to stay safe. We have asked for help from the police force. We will set up our kiosks next to their booths at the pandals and also use their loudspeakers to spread awareness but there is no official collaboration.”
The CCN has been actively involved in propagating awareness about COVID-19 and the safety measures to be undertaken, for months now. They have also been providing with on-ground support, like ambulances and even in remote areas, they have reached out to help.
Siddhanta further added that he had taken up a 720 km cycling trip to Purulia’s Ayodhya Hills and back, with 3 other CCN members. This journey was aimed at organizing an awareness program for people living in this rural locale. The team was quick to realise how little these people were aware or concerned about the virus. The common concord stuck at ‘COVID won’t happen to me’.
He stated, “When you ask them why so, they have no answer. When we left we had no idea that the awareness is so low. We came across markets, local football matches where people had come in hundreds but only a handful were wearing masks and most of them were not wearing it properly. We stopped and spoke to them wherever we saw some people who seemed reasonable and tried to make them understand how the virus spreads and how deadly it is.”
The City Commissioner of Police, Anuj Sharma, has instructed the puja committees to ensure that visitors are adhering to the physical distancing norms. SOPs have been issued by the CM of Bengal and this year, to avoid overcrowding, citizens can visit puja pandals for an entire week. As per reports, city folks can start visiting the pandals 4 days before the puja begins and 3 days after the Vijaya Dashami day.