An effort to promote eco-friendly Durga puja
Bengal Association, New Delhi, has pioneered the concept of recognising the Puja Committees which think about the future of Mother Earth and promote eco-friendliness in their respective Pujas. The Association is recognised as the premier institute of Bengalis, residing in the metropolis of Delhi and NCR, and are involved in various socio-cultural activities.
For the last four years, Bengal Association started recognising eco-friendly Puja Committees by felicitating them with Poribesh Bandhob' Sharodotsav Samman in Delhi and NCR. More than the opulence, the award concentrates on maintenance of cleanliness, hygiene, safety and security, first-aid /medical facilities, and clean and usable toilets, in the Puja Mandaps. The aim of the initiative is to encourage and disseminate awareness amongst all Durga Puja Committees so as to adopt eco-friendly measures. Also, recognising and supporting Prime Minister's Initiative of 'Swachh Bharat', emphasis is being given on cleanliness of pandal and surrounding areas.
The project, a brain-child of Tapan Sengupta, General Secretary, has inspired many Puja Committees to adopt eco-friendly measures. Getting successful in their attempt, many Durga Puja Committees have started taking strides in ensuring that their celebrations do not harm the environment. They have started using biodegradable elements and are exploring and adopting green methods for building Durga Puja pandals.
This year, Bengal Association, New Delhi, is organising its 5th Shaktibhute Sanatani – eco-friendly Poribesh Bandhob Sharodotsav Samman 2017 for the Durga Puja, organised in Delhi and NCR. The Competition for the first time is being judged by reputed exponents in the field of arts, crafts, literature, theatre, environment, social work etc. This year, about fifty Puja Committees are participating in the competition and the prize money has been increased manifold. The prizes include trophy along with a cash prize. The judging will be based on clean and eco-friendly efforts made and not on the basis of decorative lavish Puja pandals.
From the response received till now, hopefully next year more Puja Committees will join and adopt eco-friendly measures.