Bagha (Rajshahi) Correspondent:
Due to the Corona epidemic, the festival did not freeze much last year. As the outbreak of the deadly corona has decreased this year, the Hindu community has risen to the occasion. And in just a few days, the big festival of the followers of traditional Hindu religions, Durga Puja, is going to start. In the message of the arrival of Goddess Durga, the festival is now in every house. Apart from buying and cutting gold ornaments and garments, potters are also busy making sculptures. The people of the Hindu community are passing a busy time with the passage of time.
Leaders of the puja celebration council said puja was held in a total of 39 mandapas in the upazila last year. This year, a total of 44 mandapas will be held in 5 more pujas. The five-day festival will end on October 15 with the abandonment of the idol. The formality of the puja will start on October 11 with the sixth puja. On this day, the music of drums and the sad melody of bronze will be played from mandapa to mandapa.
Visiting Pakuria village in Bagha upazila, it is seen that idol artist Anand Malakar (60) is busy day and night in making the idol of Goddess Durga, which is made of mud, bamboo, straw and twine with artistic touch. The main work of constructing the soil structure has already been almost completed. There was work going on to bring back the youth of the idol form with the touch of paint brush. Anand Malakar said he has been making idols for about 50 years. His grandparents also made idols. This year, he has taken a deposit (advance money) to make 35 idols. Milon Pal, 48, another idol artist from Arani municipality, said the idol had to be made by buying mud from the river. Then it takes five days to make one set of idol with wood, yarn, straw, paint, cloth and crown. But as the price of goods goes up, selling idol sets is not making much profit. The cost of making each set of idol is 40 to 60 thousand rupees.
They were worried that the idol could not be dried for the last few days due to rain and cloudy weather. Idol artists say that last year we lost a lot of money due to coronavirus. Which will take a long time to overcome.
Sujit Kumar Pandey Baku, president of the Bagha branch of the Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, said there were no such festivals last year due to the corona virus epidemic. Durga Puja will be held in 44 mandapas of the upazila this year as puja has been increased in 5 mandapas as compared to last year. The Upazila Puja Celebration Parishad will extend maximum cooperation to all the mandapas. However, like other years, this year with the cooperation of the government, the locals are trying to make the upcoming Durga festival more beautiful. Apurba Kumar Saha, general secretary of the Bagha branch of the Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, said there was no alternative to wearing a mask to combat the corona virus. Leaders of all temple committees have been instructed to attend the festival in compliance with health rules and maintaining social distance.
Bagha Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Sajjad Hossain said the police are working to avoid all kinds of untoward incidents. Surveillance has already been increased in every temple of the upazila. The decision to appoint police-Ansar in each temple will be known after the meeting of the police super on October 3.