Less Lights, More social work

The Asian Age : 1st October 1997

“ I have been seeing this puja since I was a child & I remember my father telling me stories about it “ says Sachin Niyogi an octogenarian resident of Charakdanga .The Barwari Durga puja here is more than a century old & is probably the oldest Durgotsav in east Calcutta. The puja is performed at Kabi Sukanta Sarani in Beleghata.

History states that the name of the locality is derived from Charaker mela that was held regularly here.Durgotsav in Charakdanga began in the 18th century.Sixteen years ago a local club took up the responsibility of organizing the puja.From 1990 onwards local resident joined them to carry on the tradition.The two para club Charakdanga Udai Sangha & Beleghata Ankur joined hands forgetting their long standing rivalry.

Every years a puja committee is set up a month before the festival.This is the beginning of sleepless nights for the volunteers.However the committee spends less on light 7 decore & more on social work.TThe pronami saree which the devotee offer to the goddess on Ashtami are freely distributed on the day of Laxmi puja.

In 1994 the century old Durga bedi ( the platform on which the puja is performed )was repaired.Every year the money that the committee can save is given away to students in straitened circumstances.

Devi baran & sindoor utsav are the two main attraction of Vijaya Dashami.Every year there are about 900 married women who bid a tearful farewell to the mother.The organizers present a packet of sindoor & alta to each as a token of goodwill.The immersion invariably takes place on Dashami.Surya Shekhar Benrjee secretary of this year’s puja says that the puja will continue as before although the people involved in the actual execution might change.