Kolkata: More than a cultural festival, Durga Puja is an emotion. It is when your heart yearns to return home, irrespective of which part of the world you reside in. It is when the air starts to smell differently. Every year, around this time, people celebrate Durga puja. However, it goes without saying that this year will not be like all other years.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations of all Durga puja clubs have slowed down. In many places, the money collected for pujas will be given to the needy ones. Many puja committees will organize Durga pujas on a low budget and there will be not many decorations.

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Like every year, this year too Belgachhia Chhatra Dal Milon Club has taken the initiative to organise Durga puja. However, in the COVID-19 situation, there will be no such beautiful decorations in the pandals. This year, the pandals will be built in the style of Shirdi Sai Temple. Artists are working day and night to create the pandal.

However, the entire pandal is being constructed in compliance with government hygiene rules. The length of the main entrance of the pandal has been doubled. There is an arrangement of automatic sanitisers inside the pandal.

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Club members will also have thermal guns in their hands. At the same time, the entry of visitors will be prohibited in accordance with the government rules. The main initiator of this puja is Bhaskara Bhattacharya, former mayor of Howrah municipality.

Bhaskara Bhattacharya said, “The livelihood of many people including artists, lighting, idol-making, and floriculture workers depends on Durga puja. Prolonged lockdowns in pandemic situations have strained the livelihoods of people. On top of that, if all these people don’t get jobs then bigger problems can arise. Therefore, as per the instructions of the chief minister, this year's puja has been organised in compliance with all the hygiene rules.”