An 11-year-old boy residing at Roy Bahadur Road in southwest Kolkata’s Behala died of dengue on August 23. The tragic incident not only made headlines but also prompted the local Durga Puja club to create public awareness about this deadly disease and also protect puja artisans. Hence, the Roy Bahadur Road Mitra Sangha club has installed two giant mosquito nets and several regular-size nets at their pandal.
According to Amit Saha, one of the main puja organisers of the club, the death of the schoolboy, who was the nephew of a club member, moved them deeply. “The tragic incident forced us to brainstorm on how to prevent such loss of lives and we hit upon the idea,” Saha added.
‘Pandal artists are working In the big nets, while the smaller nets are for the idol artists’ said a club member
The club members were also worried about the safety of the pandal artisans. “Several people are working for our puja and after completing their work, if they go home and fall sick that would be terrible. Our happiness would be their reason for sadness,” Saha said.
Keeping these factors in mind, the club members went to Chetla Haat — the hub of mosquito nets in south Kolkata and ordered two 10ftx8ft mosquito nets. Along with that, they bought several 4/7 ft nets. “In the big nets, the pandal artists are working, while the smaller nets are for the idol artists. We have also attached posters related to this,” Saha said. Along with that, the club is also distributing mosquito repellent lotions and coils.
The pandal theme this year is based on the Bhil tribe of India
The theme of the Puja, however, is not related to mosquitoes or dengue. Instead, it is based on the Bhil tribe of India. According to artist Tapashi Saha Chakraborty, the tribe in central India is known for their high social status of women and that culture would be portrayed in the pandal. “Besides, there is a unique ritual among Bhil. They pray to Ma Durga with paintings and artworks. That’s why several paintings of such style would be displayed at the pandal,” Chakraborty added.