Dispossessed of traditional adorning, Durga here is seen walking back with her children and Ganesh, sitting atop a buffalo and lion head, holding her platform. She is surrounded by gunny bags of aids with the face of a traditional Durga idol reflected in the backdrop.
Pallab Bhowmick's Ma Durga for the Pujo this year, as a migrant worker with her children. Very evocative. pic.twitter.com/aAlJVI9XKO
"This idea came to me during the lockdown when I saw the plight of migrant workers. The sight of a woman walking miles without aid and four children is something I consider worth deifying," Rintu Das, the artist, told ANI.
Asserting that they wanted to portray the "strength and determination" of Goddess Durga in the migrant woman, club President Sudip said these are very unusual and difficult times for everyone. "Goddess Durga epitomises strength and determination. Our budget has completely gone down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Barisha Club is known for its theme; so nothing could be better than portraying the hardships of these migrant workers," Sudip said.
In West Bengal, people treat this time of year as their daughter Durga's yearly sojourn with her four children -- Kartik, Ganesh, Lakshmi and Saraswati -- from her husband Mahadev's abode in Mt Kailasha.
However, some daughters returned home empty-handed this time during the lockdown -- the Barisha club's theme.
Not just the migrant workers, the COVID-19 has also left its brutal impact on the idol makers. Many in Siliguri said their business has been reduced to half of the other years with very limited orders of Durga idols being placed due to the restrictions by the central government.
"The pandemic has caused great harm to our business. Orders have reduced to less than half of previous years. There is barely any profit in idol making currently even though this is the peak season for us," an idol maker told ANI.
Also known as Sharad Navratri, Durga Puja is believed to mark Goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura, signifying the victory of good over evil.
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