Durga Puja: IIDR Sharad Samman Awards for Kolkata Durga Puja - An Overview of the Event & It's Participating Pujas

By Subhomoy Mukherjee

Editor's note: Subhomoy met the organizers of the 2011 IIDR Sharad Samman Kolkata Durga Puja awards and reports in his unique Bengali-style English which we left unedited in this post.

Pratima of Chetla Agrani Sangha (2010) Durga Puja
Chetla Agrani Sangha 2010 Pratima

Pratima of Golden Arrow Club (2010) Durga Puja
Golden Arrow Club (2010) Pratima

Swami Ranadananda Giri Maharaj
Swami Ranadananda Giri Maharaj

Calcutta, Sep 28, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Institute of Integrated Development & Research (IIDR) is organizing “IIDR Sarood Samman -2011”, in association with South-Kolkata District Nehru Yuba Kendra Sangathan, Ministry of Youth Affairs And Sports, and Government of India. Washington Bangla Radio is the Media Partner for this prestigious Sarood Samman to encourage and recognize creative efforts of Sarbojanin pujas.

This year IIDR Sarood Samman Committee is focusing on raising awareness about women cricket in association with BCCI ( Board of Cricket Control of India ).

This event is purely a non-commercial Social Service venture. Patrons of IIDR Sarood Samman-2011 are veteran Film Artist Bharati Debi, Janab M. Nuruzamman, Honorable Member Legislative Assembly, Government of West Bengal & Janab Firad Hakim, Honorable Minister, Government of West Bengal.

The event is financially supported by GOPINATH-BIBHUTHIBHUSAN CONSULTANCY LIMITED.

Around 60 pujo committees participated in this competition and still selection is going on. Few Pujo Committees from Hooghly and 24 Parganas(S) are also participating this year.

This year I have got the opportunity to chat with Chief Sponsor of the event , Founder Chairman of IIDR, Advisor, Organizer as well as some of the participants.

Founder Chairman of IIDR, Mr. Bhaskar Ghosh Dastidar has told that this is the 3rd year for IIDR Sarood Samman where they will judge the puja committees on the basis of their theme, social activities, fire protection facilities, environmental awareness and facilities providing to the audience. He is also hopeful to popularize Women Cricket by reaching people at different pujas. He have also shared his experience as a pandal hopper in 1950s and 1960s and positive changes in puja theme he is feeling in recent years.

Managing Director of Chief Sponsor of IIDR Sarood Samman 2011, GOPINATH-BIBHUTHIBHUSAN CONSULTANCY LIMITED; Mr. Kanchan Mondal has told that they are sponsoring the event due to social works IIDR is doing throughout the year, non corporate nature of the event, focus area as Woman Cricket and environmental consciousness of IIDR. He is also hopeful to reach maximum people as sponsor of IIDR Sarood Samman.
One of the Organizers of the IIDR Sarood Samman-2011; Mrs. Mousumi Dey is hopeful to create awareness about Women Cricket. She also considers the event as a sound platform to do more social work. She feels the award as tribute to Kolkata Sarod Utsav’s spirit.

Advisor of the event, Swami Ranadananda Maharaj has told regarding rituals of Durgapuja and he requests all through WBRi to perform all the rituals thoroughly with proper concentration. He has informed the actual puja time frame as Pratipad ( next day to Mahalaya ) to Vijaya Dashami. He has told that the 1st puja has taken place in 15th Century at Taherpur village of Rajshahi District, Bangladesh where Raja Kangshanarayan has worshipped Durga during Suklo paksho ( phase between Mahalaya and Dashami ) of Aashwin Month of Bengali Calendar . His poet Sri Krittibas Ojha , who has written Ramayana in Bengali, has inspired him to perform the Akalbodhan – name of Durgapuja performed by Rama to kill Ravan. Swami Ranadananda Maharaj has informed that Shimla Bayam Samiti has started Sarbojanin puja in Kolkata for the first time in 1926 under the guidance of patriot Sri Atindranath Bose.

Ms. Gargi Banerjee, Chairperson of BCCI’s Women Cricket Selection Committee, thinks pujo as a prinicipal platform to popularize any good activity so IIDR Sarood Samman’s focus area as popularization of Women Cricket should be successful. Though she is experiencing some positive changes for Women Cricket, she is expecting better infrastructure and more facilities. She is hopeful about India’s winning of the next edition of Women Cricket World Cup.

Ms. Sohini Bhattacharya of Chetla Agrani Sangha has told that their theme is communal harmony so they are building a temple by the side of Mosque situated there. Theme music of the puja is Baul to popularize that art of Bengal. Chetla Agrani Sangha has a homeopathy dispensary to provide free treatment to all. They also finance under privileged students. They have their own ambulances. They arrange blood donation camp and medical camp. They are making pandal with fire protection materials and arranging sufficient water reserves.

Behala Pragati Sangha’s theme is Tamoso Maa Jyotirgomay ( Journey from Darkness to Light ) where spectators will see a idol of Ravan as darkness and evil power at the entrance of the pandal. The second part of the pandal will show the journey from darkness to light and at the end spectators will see enlightened Durga Idol. Mr. Nilmoni Roy form the club has told that they are creating enough space within pandal to avoid suffocation and doing proper arrangement to protect fire. They have own dispensary to provide free treatment. They also help financially economically backward people.
Gloden Arrow Club is worshipping Durga as Goddess of nature this year.  They are creating their tribal idol as creation of Durga from Bramha’s naval. According to Mrs Samita Sen from the club, they are very conscious about keeping the environment pollution free and they give equal importance to safety measurements against fire. Some of the organizations treat them as best puja to maintain fire protection devices. They provide computer to the schools for economically back ward class and arrange medical camps.

Golfgreen Sarbojanin is a old community puja of Kolkata. Their theme is the art of Madhubani. As per Mr. Tapan Dasgupta from the puja committee, they usually do a lots of social work throughout the puja like organizing health camp, taking care of old people, financing a school for under privileged children, helping poor people etc. They protect the environment of Golfgreen by tree plantation. They are taking care of safety measures against fire and one of their members is taking training now from Fire Brigade.

Tapan Ghosh Dastidar of Ghava Sammilani considers their puja as a family puja rather than Sarbojanin and proud of the get together of all the members and their families during the puja. He has also told regarding history of the puja and how the puja has been started at the time of Akbar at Ghava village of Bangladesh.

Mr. Tushar Kanti Bhattacharya of Singur Bhattacharya family is considers their puja as a get together of all the family members with the villagers. They follow Tantra rituals during puja though they have stopped sacrifice of animals now. They arrange cultural program every evening during puja.

Enhanced by Zemanta