Durga Puja at housing complexes is not just about partaking of the sumptuous community lunch and competing for the dhunuchi naach crown. Conscience counts as much as celebration.
Giving an impetus to this cause is the fourth edition of The Telegraph Festival of Joy, presented by Euroclean Vacuum Cleaner from Eureka Forbes.
“This year, we have tried to represent the old Bengal school of art through our pandal. The puja will be inaugurated by underprivileged children, who will also share their stories with us. The best thing about our society is that all three or four generations living here participate in each aspect,” said Caesar Sen, cultural committee member at Avishikta-I, on the Bypass.
Joining Avishikta-I in the Festival of Joy roster are 49 housing estates across the city.
Shortlisted by The Telegraph, the apartment pujas will be assessed on the basis of civic consciousness, community participation and social commitment.
First-aid corners, fire-safety measures, help desk, special arrangements for senior citizens and people with disabilities and access to drinking water are some of the many boxes that the jury will tick while trying to identify The Telegraph Festival of Joy Model Puja 2013.
The title winner will receive Rs 50,000 in prize money. Each participating housing complex will be awarded stars between two and five. While two of the pujas will be given the title of Five Star Apartment Puja and Rs 15,000 in prize money each, 10 pujas will win the title of Four Star Apartment Puja and a cheque for Rs 5,000 each.
After the preliminary judging on Saptami, celebrity judges will visit the apartments on Ashtami and rate them on the Festival of Joy scale.
“In our housing complex, we have a tradition of having our main meals together, apart from staging various entertainment activities on each day, from Sashthi to Dashami,” said Kushal Thakur, vice-president of Behala’s Mangalam Park Puja Committee.
The Euroclean Clean and Green Homes award is an additional incentive. The award is meant to encourage apartments to keep their complexes green and free of plastic and litter. “The vision of Eureka Forbes is to have a happy, healthy and pollution-free environment and our association with the Clean & Green Homes Initiative and the Festival of Joy programme is proof of our commitment to this objective,” said Marzin R. Shroff, CEO-direct sales and senior vice-president of marketing at Eureka Forbes.