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Puja live on phone

This Puja, you can watch arati and dhunuchi naach live on the go without being anywhere near a pandal or in front of a television.

Suruchi Sangha in New Alipore has hired an agency that will stream videos captured with three high-definition cameras and 18 CCTVs and beamed live on most cell phone networks. A subscriber only has to text “DRGP” to 54646 from a 3G-enabled phone to receive a link for the live streaming.

The video feed will be deferred by 15 seconds for technical reasons.

“There are many who love to see our puja but cannot make it to our pandal for various reasons. That is the reason why we are taking our puja to the Calcuttan’s cell phone, where he or she can catch all that is happening in our pandal round-the-clock,” said state housing minister Arup Biswas, who is the club president.

Hungama Digital, the company hired to execute the plan, will have a technical team edit and mix the videos live. “The videos will be routed to our platform in Mumbai, from where these would be uploaded to various cell phone networks,” said Amritendu Chowdhury, content manager with Hungama Digital.

The live feed will be interspersed with recordings of some performances.

Sources said users would be charged standard Internet surfing tariffs, which could differ depending on the service provider.

While Suruchi Sangha is so far the only puja committee going live on cell phone, many others such as Naktala Udayan Sangha, Tridhara Sammilani in Rashbehari Avenue and Singhi Park Sarbojonin will be regularly updating their websites with the day’s videos and photographs.

“We will have professional videographers shoot various performances and rituals at the pandal and upload them to our website. We will regularly put up new videos to keep those who can’t come updated about our puja,” said Bappaditya Dasgupta, general secretary of Naktala Udayan Sangha.

For those whose budgets don’t permit expenditure on live feed and website uploads, Facebook has been a godsend. Not that the puja committees with money to spend are not using the social network to publicise their pandals.

From Barisha Tarun Tirtha to Behala Nutan Dal, almost everyone is updating Facebook pages as part of a publicity blitz that could get bigger and more competitive over the next few days.

“We created a Facebook account earlier this year and sent friend requests to a list of people. Now we are promoting our puja with pictures of the theme and work in progress at the pandal. We will depute people to regularly update our page and reply to people’s queries during the festival days,” said Sandipan Banerjee of Behala Nutan Dal.