This year, we saw how COVID frontline workers received fantastic tributes from across the country during Indian festivals. From goddess Gauri dressed as a doctor and a policewoman to Ganesha idols dressed as medics, many people found it fitting to worship our essential workers for their relentless courage shown during the pandemic.
And now, one locality in Kolkata is to get a ‘Migrant Worker Goddess’ during Durga Puja. According to The Telegraph, the traditional Maa Durga idol will be replaced by the idol of a woman clad in a pale saree and walking with a shirtless toddler in her arms – highlighting the plight of the migrant workers.
The migrant worker goddess is to be worshipped at Behala’s Barisha Club.
Behind the idol of the mother will be 3 other idols – two daughters, one with a baby owl in the crook of her arm and the other caressing a duck, signifying Saraswati and Laxmi. Another shall have a pot-belly with an elephant’s head, signifying Ganesha. The boy in the mother’s arms signifies Kartikeya. The goddess will have no weapon – just an empty bag on the other hand – highlighting the helplessness of the migrant workers.
“The goddess is the woman who braved the scorching sun and hunger and penury along with her children. She is looking for food, water and some relief for her children,” said Rintu Das, the artist.
“No pandal can fully capture the plight of workers during the lockdown. But we can at least show some empathy,” said Debaprosad Bose, a founder-member of the club.
“During the lockdown, all I remember seeing on TV and reading in newspapers were migrant workers returning home on foot, some of them dying on the road…the indomitable spirit of the women walking home with children overwhelmed me. In my mind, they embodied the goddess,” said the artist.
People online lauded the club for their thoughtful act. Here’s what they said:
— Debalina Dey (@DeyDebalina1) October 15, 2020
Uff… the ART!!😍 https://t.co/Xy2n8gmenI
— Sinjana (@backpacknxplore) October 15, 2020
— Aritra Bose (@AritraBose) October 15, 2020
Am glad Durga Pujo is still maintaining its ethos of bringing social news in the forefront https://t.co/edZEe1ycrV
— Priyashmita (@priyashmita) October 15, 2020
— anindya (@anindya0909) October 15, 2020
💕 that’s why our Bengal and Her people are special💕 our emotional expression in Art will surely guide us through these difficult times..
— PD (@PD36306813) October 15, 2020
That’s why we say Durga Puja is multi dimensional 👃👍😊
— Malay M (@atlas47) October 15, 2020
During the lockdown, the club had organised several donation drives wherein they provided ration to many poor families.
This is a touching gesture to acknowledge the plight of migrant workers and also spread awareness. Kudos to the club for coming up with such a brilliant concept!