While pandal hopping during puja, whichever pandal you prefer to go to, you will find a notice asking you to look at the idol and installations from a distance for fear of vandalism, but not the one by Samaj Sebi Sangha in Ballygunge.
This year, on their 73rd Durga Puja, the committee has ensured that the visually impaired can feel Maa Durga. While entering the pandal, at the top one will find Maa Durga covering her eyes with hands, which symbolically represents that for blind people their hands become their eyes. They need to feel and touch everything to be able to frame a picture in their mind.
Recorded Live from Samaj Sebi Sangha. Please skip to 35 seconds for video.
Posted by Samaj Sebi Sangha on Thursday, October 18, 2018
What’s more? The face of Durga is made by artist Pintu Sikhdar who used 1,200 nails and 20,000 screws to prepare this unique idol. The makers have used Braille language while carving words like “Ma” and “Jai Ma Durga” on the walls. Further, the puja itinerary is given to the visually impaired which has the details of the festivals in the same language.
The special arrangements by the puja committee are not only restricted to the blind people but they have kept facilities such as wheelchair and stretchers for differently-abled and old people. Also, pregnant and visually impaired people won’t have to carry a separate id card for VIP entrance.
While talking to a national daily, the General Secretary of puja committee Aniket Moitra said that they have partnered with social organizations like Voice of World, Behala and MP Birla Eye Bank to set up a donation camp.
The committee members also wanted to educate the general public to donate their eyes after their death, so that it can change the lives of visually impaired people. According to the Business Insider report, Samaj Sebi Sangha has claimed that 85 people have come forward to donate their eyes.
Last year, the committee was in the headlines for creating India’s longest ‘Alpona’ during Durga Puja.