The Barisha Club Durga Puja committee in Behala, Kolkata has decided to replace the traditional idol of Durga this year with an idol of a migrant worker and mother with a child on her hip.
It is to be mentioned that not just Durga, the other deities in the pantheon that are part of the Durga Puja panel including Saraswati and Laxmi (Lokkhi) have also been replaced.
The godesses will be represented by two the migrant worker’s daughters in her wake, one with an owl representing Laxmi and the other with a duck, Saraswati’s chosen ‘vaahan’ (transport). The four are accompanied by a tubby little kid with an elephant’s head, signifying Ganesha.
Migrant Mother as Goddess Durga at a Durga Puja Pandal this year
The idol of a migrant worker mother, a shirtless toddler (Kartick) in her arms, that will be worshipped as Goddess Durga at Barisha Club in Behala, West Bengal
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The statue depicts the woman heading toward a traditional idol of Durga, the one with ten arms, in search of “relief”. In fact, “Relief” (Tran in Bengali), is the theme of this year Puja celebrations at Barisha Club, which is well known for its themes Durga Puja marquees in Kolkata.
“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”, artist of the migrant mother’s statue, Rintu Das, told The Telegraph.
Notably eariler this year due to the pandamic, photos of millions of migrant workers returning home on foot went with their children and with all their belongings went viral on social media.