In yet another tribute to essential workers, a Durga Puja pandal in Murshidabad, West Bengal, has created an idol of the goddess herself paying tribute to a health worker.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Durga Puja celebrations remained subdued across Bengal, a state that sees the highest number of Durga Puja pandals due to its Bengali Hindu demographic majority. The pandemic, however, has not been able to quell the art and creativity which is a staple of Puja pandals and idols.
On display at a pandal in Murshidabad, the idol of goddess Durga can be seen holding a crown instead of her customary Trishul (trident). The goddess can be seen placing the crown on a health worker's head, indicating that your life was in safe hands with doctors, who have themselves played the relentless role of gods and goddesses when it came to saving lives since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our theme this year is COVID-2020," Shoumodip Shonai, an organising member of the pandal’s puja committee, told news agency ANI. "The health care workers across the country are working for us and our pandal’s theme is basically to pay tribute to them. Goddess Durga is seen crowning the health care worker".
He further added that the aim of the theme was to make people aware of the amazing work done by healthcare workers in limiting the damage done by the pandemic. Yet another member told ANI that the idea of honouring healthcare workers as the protagonists of this year's theme allowed them to bring the masses' attention and adoration to the doctors and healthcare workers "helping to get India cured of this disease".
But this isn't all. As part of the tribute to healthcare workers, the pandal's theme also has a more practical purpose: spreading awareness about coronavirus, and the various steps and measures taken to contain its spread.
This, however, is not the first Covid-19 themed pandal to go viral in West Bengal this year. Earlier last week, a pandal in Kolkata went viral for depicting Mahishasur as the coronavirus, which is being slain by Durga who is depicted as a healthcare worker.