New Delhi [India], October 10 (ANI): Amidst the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations are in full swing for the Durga Puja festivity, whilst keeping the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) guidelines in mind.
Durga Puja will be celebrated from October 11-October 15 this year.
Talking about the preparation, Prodip Ganguly, General Secretary of Kali Mandir Society said, "The circular of DDMA issued on September 30, permits devotees to enter the temple. But there are restrictions like not more than 50 persons can enter the temple."
There will be no place to sit or stand, inside the temple premises and no one can meditate in the temple either, informed the General Secretary of Kali Mandir Society.
"Our main temple will be closed from October 11-14. People can only come for 'darshan'. Our volunteers will be there we keep a check on everything," Ganguly said.
"We have made barricades keeping the protocol in mind. Devotees will enter from one gate, they will see the deity (offer prayers) and then they will exit. They won't be allowed to stay here for long. They will have to keep moving and will not be allowed to stand for long in the temple. This is how we have made a system," he added.
Ganguly further said that there will be no arrangement for 'prasad' in the temple this year, as per DDMA guidelines.
"No one can offer prasad, garlands. So, we have made arrangements for devotees to offer prayers online. All devotees can do is see the proceedings. The religious procedure will be followed as per as prayer is concerned," he added.
Reminiscing the festivities before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ganguly informed that per day footfall in the temple pandal used to be around one lakh and about 70-80 stalls used to get installed in the pandal.
"Earlier, for the immersion process, the procession was taken out from here. In our colony, around 10-12 'poojas' is done. Everyone together used to go together for immersing the 'murtis' in a truck," he said.
" But, as crowd gatherings is banned, procession can't be carried out. So, what we have done is, we have made an immersion pit. We will not carry out any procession. Just the ritual will be done inside the Mandir complex," the General Secretary of Kali Mandir Society added.
For Bengalis, Durga puja is not just a religious festival. It is a socio-religious and cultural festival in which the whole community enjoy together.
Meanwhile, Govind Nath, an idol maker from Kolkata who supplied 'Murtis' of goddess Durga to pandals in Delhi complained that the DDMA's permission came too late, which affected the business of artisans.
"I had one or two orders from a few places. After the permission was granted, people started coming for 'murtis'. But, whatever 'murtis' I made earlier, they (authorities) took it away. To make a 'murti', it takes time as the soil needs time to be prepared. This year, there was not much work. If the government would have given permission earlier, then everyone would've offered prayers," said Nath. (ANI)