Durga puja organisers come to the aid of cyclone-hit craft workers

Kolkata, Jun 2 (PTI) A platform of prominent Durga Puja organisers of Kolkata has reached out to the Cyclone Amphan affected 'shola' (Indian cork) artists of a hamlet in South 24 Parganas district, who have been decorating their pandals with intricate artworks for years.

The Forum for Durgotsab, a platform of 350 Durga Puja committees, on Tuesday said its members distributed food and relief materials to 170 families of artisans of Enayetpur village in Diamond Harbour subdivision of the district.

'There are many other villages affected by the cyclone as large swathes of land in South 24 Parganas district have been devastated on May 20. But we didn't have the resources to go everywhere. So we chose Enayetpur,' General Secretary 'Forum for Durgotsab' Saswata Basu said.

'Residents of the village are experts in shola crafts and they are involved in decorating our pandals for years. We know many of them personally,' Basu said.

Seven-eight members of the Forum went to Enayetpur and distributed dry food items, soap, tarpaulin and other items among the affected families on Monday, he said.

'We pray to Ma Durga that may these people stand on their feet again, may these people start their work and adorn puja pandals once more this year,' Basu said.

The Forum has puja committees such as Ballygunje Cultural, Behala Notun Dal, Tridhara Sammilani, Santoshpur Lake Palli, Hatibagan Navin Palli and Kasi Bose Lane. They are known for organising pujas that attract a large number of visitors every year.

The Naktala Udayan Sangha, an award-winning puja committee of the city, will separately distribute relief materials among people in several storm-ravaged villages in an area close to the Sunderbans, the worlds largest mangrove forest.

'We will take clothes, food grains, puffed rice and dry food to the villages in Gosaba area this week. We are in talks with the administration and local villagers,' a puja committee spokesman said.

Many other Durga puja organisers of Kolkata are also individually collecting relief materials for the people in the disaster-hit zones. PTI SUS NN NN