Puja pick of right spirit

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 24.09.09
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When the cars roll out on Thursday morning bearing the standards of CESC The Telegraph True Spirit Puja, both the visitors to the pandals they carry and the puja organisers they visit will be united in one goal — gifting the people of Calcutta and Howrah a safer, happier and more meaningful festival.

Of the 267 pujas to be visited over Sashthi and Saptami, those crowned last year are working extra hard.

Debashis Kumar of Model Puja 2008 Tridhara Sammilani on Manohar-pukur Road is confident of getting another thumbs up. “We have improved on last year’s showing with regard to fire-fighting and electicity supply gear. Another ramp has been added for physically challenged visitors,” he says, watching volunteers control the crowd queuing up to see Nepal’s Durbar Square in south Calcutta.

Tridhara’s soul is a medical centre, open thrice a week for the poor. “We treat about 100 patients a week.” Last year’s TSP prize money (of Rs 50,000) too has been pumped in here.

When Aila struck, Manicktalla Chaltabagan Lohapatty Durgapuja Committee raised Rs 50,000. “Our first destination was Gosaba where we distributed water barrels and dry food before sailing to Rangaberia, Kochukhali and Kumirmari,” recalls Suren Khara of the Five Star puja. Tridhara too handed over 300 saris and 100 mosquito nets to Aila victims.

Kalitala Sporting Club, off the Bypass, another Five-Star status bearer, has gone the extra mile to keep to the right side of the law. “We reduced the height of our Meenakshi temple pandal as soon as the court ruling (of a 40-ft vertical cap) came out,” says club president Prabir Das.

Holding a puja in an economically backward area means perennial budget constraints. “But we are committed to bring our rickshaw-puller neighbours under a group insurance scheme.” Just as TSP is committed to stand by pujas with a heart.