Millennium Post

Selfie craze gives tough time to puja organisers; measures in place

Kolkata: The puja organisers in the city who face a tough task to manage crowd during the Puja days in their respective puja mandaps are really worried with the craze of selfie particularly among youngsters with the idol of Devi Durga in the background.
The puja organisers in the city have issued directives in most of the puja pandals particularly at the entry points directing pandal-hoppers not to take selfies. Announcements are being made over microphone requesting people not to take selfies as the time consumed in the process is causing inordinate delay for those standing in the queues.
However, in many cases, there has been a tendency particularly among the youngsters to turn a blind eye to this. The puja organisers have started acting tough. "We were finding it extremely tough to manage the crowd on Monday. We made announcements in the pandal making it clear that selfies are not allowed and those who will violate the directive would have their cell phones seized by the police," a puja organiser of Tridhara Akalbodhon in South Kolkata said.
Even after the announcements, some people still ignored the directive. "The police seized as many as 50 cell phones from our pandal on Monday," Debasish Kumar, general secretary of Tridhara said.
General secretary of Suruchi Sangha in New Alipore Swarup Biswas said that they too have been facing a similar situation with the craze of selfies. "We are constantly requesting the pandal-hoppers not to take selfies inside the puja pandal. We have enough police deployment and we have given them free hand to take steps as per law," Biswas said.
A senior official of Kolkata Police admitted that the selfie craze has been a cause of worry in crowd management. "After we seized cell phones at various puja pandals and returned them after much pleading on the part of the offender, situations have started improving," the official said.
"The perfect pose for a selfie before the Durga idol is consuming a lot of time as the serpentine queue to catch a glimpse of the idol was getting longer forcing us to make an announcement of banning selfies," a North Kolkata puja organiser said.
Pandal-hopping has started in full swing from Sunday, the day of Chaturthi. The puja organisers anticipate more crowd on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Saptami, Ashtami and Navami).
It may be mentioned that a number of leading mobile manufacturing companies have focused on mobile phones with good front camera resolution that ensures good quality selfies. Such mobile phones have sold like hot cakes for the last few months.
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