Dibrugarh (Assam) [India], October 11 (ANI): One of the oldest Durga Puja celebrations in Assam, the Bokel Durga Puja has this year stepped into its 183rd edition.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the puja was conducted without an idol. However, this year the Puja will be organised with all rituals including idol worship.
Devotes and tourists from all over Assam come to the Bokel during Durga Puja to take blessings of Maa Durga," said Dinesh Das, secretary of Bokel Durga Puja Committee.
"We are following all Covid-19 protocols issued by the government. Masks, sanitisers were given to the people who come to the puja. This year, our idol was made by a local artisan. We are happy that this time we are organising the puja with the idol. Last time we have done ghat puja," Das said.
He added, "Artisans from Kolkata came here to make the idol. Our idols have unique features. The same artisan's family has been making the idol for last many years. We organised the Puja with all rituals ".
Earlier on September 15, the Assam government issued general guidelines for Puja and upcoming Festivals, 2021.
"Assam could effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic with a very high recovery rate with less mortality rate. However, with the fresh spike of COVID-19 cases in few states of the country, Assam has also geared up its COVID management strategies and has been taking different need-based appropriate steps to contain the spread of COVID-19, keeping the core principle of COVID-19 management at the centre, which is namely TESTING TRACING and TREATING (3Ts) along with rapid completion of Vaccination of the eligible categories," stated the guidelines.
The event organisers shall seek permission from the District Administration of the concerned district for organizing any event resulting in a public gathering, mentioning the number of people likely to gather at the proposed event, stated the guidelines.
All organizers and Volunteers must be atleast vaccinated with one dose and preferably with two doses of vaccinations, added the guidelines.
All volunteers, priests, Puja organizers must get mandatorily tested for COVID-19 before puja starts (on Panchami day) or after immersion (Ekadasi day), even though they may be vaccinated, as per the guidelines.
Curfew hours as prescribed by ASDMA shall be strictly adhered to. It is suggested that as per the latest time as allowed by ASDMA, all the puja pandals must be closed for the devotees and District administration along with puja committees have to ensure this strictly, according to the guidelines.
A maximum number of persons allowed as per ASDMA guidelines only may be allowed to gather.
Keeping in view the COVID protocol, all gathering (in the form of Anjali, prasad distribution, sandhya arati etc) should be done very carefully adhering to COVID norms and in small groups and in a staggered manner. (ANI)