Associations bring top artists, craftsmen and musicians from Bengal to make the festival memorable

Navi Mumbai : Autumn is the season for festivals. With Ganesh Utsav over, it is now the turn for Nav Ratri and Durgoutsav.

The large Bengali community across the satellite city is giving final touches to their greatest festival. All Bengali Associations are making preparations to welcome Goddess Durga.

Most of the associations have erected eco-friendly pandals where the Goddess will stay for four days with children. It is a homecoming for Durga. According to puranas, every year this time, the Goddess visits her parents’ place.

As many as 40 such community pujas are being organised in Navi Mumbai. One of the oldest pujas is being held at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose ground at sector 6, Vashi, opposite local police station.

It is a long journey of 35 years for its organisers, the Navi Mumbai Bengali Association.

The main pandal has been created out of bamboo. On the cost of the pandal, Sukanta Nag, president of the association, said: “It will be around Rs 10 lakhs while the total expense for the four-day long festival will be Rs 60 lakhs.”

More than 20 craftsmen from east Midnapore in West Bengal are working day in and day out to make the pandal stand out.

The association is giving bhog-prasad for about 5,000 devotees who take part in the puja. It has also arranged musical programmes. The highlight of the programmes will be a performance by singer-cum-politician Babool Supriya on October 2.

“For the first time in NMBA’s 35-year journey, Chou dancers from West Bengal will perform at our pandal,” Nag said.

Another big-budget puja is taking place at NMMT ground at sector 12, Vashi. This is the tenth year of celebration for Vashi Cultural Association which is organising the puja. According to Subhankar Mitra of the association, singer Anupam Roy will perform for the first time in Navi Mumbai here. Elaborate arrangements have also been made for bhog-prasad.

Big-budget pujas are also being organised by the Bengali Cultural Association of Kharghar, Milan Tirtha, New Panvel, Amra Prabasi, Nerul (east), Airoli, CBD Belapur and Koparkhairne. Navi Mumbai’s Assamese community, Mumbai Asomiya Sarvajanin Durga Puja, will celebrate Durga Puja at Assam Bhavan adjacent to Vashi railway station. This is the ninth year of celebration organised by them.

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