Drive-In Darshan for Contactless Pandal Hopping this Durga Puja

By Anwesha Chakravorty

Humanity is in the grasp of the deadliest virus COVID 19. Amidst the odd, a Puja Committee in Kolkata is decking up with its unique initiative of Drive-in-darshan, to avoid the paws of Corona Virus. This brain storming idea of Badamtala Ashar Sangha desist the devotees from standing in the serpentine queues and will gift them with the pleasure, of darshan sitting in the cars, without the fear of contracting infection. With social distancing and safety guidelines being mandate, this unique idea sheds light to cease generating crowds during the days of festivity.

Two of the three puja committees near Rashbehari Avenue crossing are among South Kolkata’s crowd-pullers — Badamtala Ashar Sangha and 66 Palli. A third along the lane —Kalighat Nepal Bhattacharjee Street Club —has joined in to complete the triad, perceiving the economic down slash. This has marked to be the first ever instance in the recent history.

The theme for the three pujas will be the Apu trilogy to pay tribute to Satyajit Ray, whose birth centenary year began on May 2, 2020. 

Talking to News Sense an organizer of Badamtala Ashar Shangha said, “We will portray Pather Panchali, 66 Pally will do Aparajito, while Kalighat Nepal Bhattacharjee Street Club will feature Apur Sansar.

As , the drive-in concept is gaining momentum across the world because of the zero-contact experience. Idealizing the concept, they have planned for the drive-in-darshan route, beginning from Badamtala with scenes from Pather Panchali, followed by 66 Palli with Aparajito, and concluding with Nepal Bhattacharjee which will portray Apur Sansar.

Visitors will get 10 seconds to catch the glimpse of the idol while slowing down their cars, following a particular lane. Another, separate lane has been kept for the pedestrians in 60:40 ratio. At one time, nearly 30 visitors will be allowed inside the marquee, maintaining all the safety guidelines.” said the theme artist of Badamtala Ashar Shangha, Snehashish Maity.

The sole motive of mooting this unique thought is for the safety of the visitors. Hence, they are preferring drive-in-darshan . “As per the orders, we have arranged for a piped sanitizing shower for the cars at the entry point, hand sanitization and thermal check, masks for the pedestrians. 24*7 doctor and ambulance service will be standby.” said Maity.

With cases of COVID-19 steadily rising in the city, Kolkata will embrace the innovative experience of drive-in darshan of the goddess Durga triggering contactless pandal hopping with the ease of entering the marquee maintaining social distancing in this puja.