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Pujas to be live streamed on Facebook, Instagram this year

Ranchi committees promise to adhere to Covid protocols, await government guidelines
Visitors at the Bandgadi Puja in Ranchi last year.

Our Correspondent   |   Ranchi   |   Published 27.09.20, 07:15 PM

Puja rituals at all leading Durga Puja pandals across Ranchi will be live streamed on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram this year in a bid to allow devotees to worship deities from the comfort of their homes amid Covid-19 restrictions.

“We have decided to livestream all puja rituals on social media platforms during the four days of Durga Puja. Dedicated pages for Durga Puja 2020 will be created on Facebook and Instagram, which devotees can follow to watch our live videos,” Ashok Purohit, the president of Ranchi District Durga Puja Committee (RDDPC), said on Sunday.

While the government is yet to announce rules and regulations to be followed during the days of Puja, the committee, which is the umbrella body for over 500 puja organisers in Ranchi, has decided to install LED screens outside every pandal to live telecast the rituals to prevent crowding inside the pandal.

“We have unanimously decided that only puja committee members will be allowed inside pandals as a preventive measure against coronavirus,” said Purohit. He, however, added that a limited number of devotees could be eventually allowed to enter the pandals if the government specified a number in its puja guidelines.

Puja committees in Ranchi have also decided against organising Durga Puja fairs this year in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. The committees have decided to erect small pandals and not make grand arrangements to attract pandal hoppers.

“The idols will not be taller than 15 feet this year, and the pandals too will be ordinary. There won’t be any themes for puja this year,” said Ramesh Singh, a member of the Chandrashekhar Azad Puja Committee.

The Pujas begin on October 22. Sources in the Ranchi district administration said that the government was likely to issue a notification on the dos and don’ts during Puja in the first week of October.

Puja committee members said all precautionary measures would be followed at the pandals, and nobody will be allowed to enter without a face mask. It will also be made mandatory for all puja pandals to keep hand sanitisers at the gate and make announcements related to Covid-19 precautions on loudspeakers.

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