New Delhi | Sanyukta Baijal: Durga Puja 2021 is here and devotees are all set to celebrate the beautiful festival by Pandal hopping and worshipping Maa Durga for prosperity and happiness. However, COVID-19 still has its feet firm and amidst this scenario, it becomes very important to take care of the safety measures. However, it seems like the coronavirus has barely been able to fade out the spirit of the festival and people are actually stepping out this time to be a part of Durga Puja 2021 celebrations.

Talking more about the celebrations amidst pandemic and organising the Durga Puja pandal, Mr. Tapas Dey from the Sahasrabdi Durga Puja Committee, Gurugram spoke to us. He threw some light on the struggles the committee members had to face in lead up to the organisation of this year's celebrations and also told how this year's Durga Puja is different from the previous years.

COVID-19 guidelines and safety measures

"We are 100 per cent following the guidelines issued by the government. We are allowing only those in the Durga Puja pandal who have received double dose of vaccinations for COVID-19. Apart from this, we have installed sanitizers and are keeping a check on social distancing as well. Also, we have mae it mandatory for people to come wearing masks. Besides this, we are also strictly not allowing outside food or prasad brought by people," said Mr Dey.

He further adds, "We have security personels standing at the entrance and in the pandal to make sure that the guidelines are being followed properly."

What's the difference between this year's celebration than the previous years?

"In the previous years, it was a normal ritual for us to serve a 4-day bhog to people. But this time due to COVID-19, a lot has been changed. We have also refrained from doing the annual cultural program where we used to invite a celebrity to perform. However, during this time, only committee members' children are planning to present a small performance. Apart from this, there are a lot of members who we have unfortunately lost their lives during the pandemic, therefore, we have planed a shraddhanjali ceremony for them as well. Apart from that, we have also decided to go virtual as well for our close ones those who won't be able to make it to the town and to the pandal due to COVID-19 restrictions."

Problem faced in organising the Durga Puja 2021 celebrations

"There are no problems as such but there were a few hurdles like seeking permission from the government as we needed to be extra cautious about the gathering of people amidst COVID-19. We had to gain the trust of the officials that we are following strict COVID-19 guidelines because this was not the scenario back in the non-COVID-19 years."

How old is this Durga Puja Committee?

"We started organising Durga Puja celebrations in 1999 and this Pandal is completing its 22 years in 2021," he concluded.

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal