The transgender community in Kolkata is all set to celebrate Durga Puja like every other year. Known for its diverse and inclusive festivities, the community will usher in the blessings with a rare idol that is called 'Ardhnarishvara.
This year, the statue is put in 'Garima Griha, a training facility gifted to the city's transgender community by the central government. The idol was established on October 7 and the ceremony was witnessed by the Australian consulate general Rowan Ainsworth.
For those who are unaware, this idol is extremely unique due to its composite feature. It has the faces of two deities beside each other. On one side, there is Lord Shiva, on the other side, there is Goddess Parvati. Another important thing about it is that it has not been immersed in the Ganga for the past four years.
As quoted by News 18, the secretary of transgender support group in the city, Ranjeeta Sinha, stated that this year, the festivities will be extremely special. Initially, it was always celebrated in her apartment. However, this time, it will be special as they will celebrate Durga Puja from the facility. "It's only appropriate that we bring our Durga home to this permanent shelter that has been carved out for trans men and women. For, our God is special- an 'ardhnarishwar', moulded by trans persons themselves," she said.
COVID-19 Shadow on Durga Puja
Adding to that, Sinha also said that the celebrations will be done in accordance with the COVID-19 protocols. The West Bengal government has issued strict guidelines to the pandal organisers to make sure that everyone is wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and being responsible in general. This is done as a precaution to prevent the rapid increase in cases that is suspected during the Navratri season.
All About Inclusivity And Grandeur
Each year, Durga Puja pandal organisers try to come up with ideas that can surpass what they did in the previous year. They never fail to astound everyone with their creativity that not only showcases the beauty but also makes you think. This year, a pandal in Kolkata's Dum Dum Park has highlighted the ongoing Farmers' Protest, especially the violence that ensued in Lakhimpur Kheri and lent their support to the community.
The Sreevumi Sporting Club built a 'Burj Khalifa' replica and used 45 kg gold to cover their Durga idol. Around 250 workers toiled hard to make this special pandal and the 145-feet tall installation will have special lighting arrangement to make it look like a spectacle.