Durga Puja pandals in Bengal highlight the plight of migrant workers

Durga Puja pandals in Bengal highlight the plight of migrant workers

At least 10 million migrant workers left cities — many lost jobs because of the lockdown — and returned to their homes in the hinterland. With special trains for them being launched only on May 1, many ended up walking home in April, and even later.

As West Bengal gears up for its biggest festival, the Durga Puja, which starts next week, some organising committees have decided to portray in their pandals (temporary sheds), the travails of millions of migrant workers in the wake of the lockdown imposed on March 25 to fight the coronavirus disease — keeping with the trend of pandals reflecting contemporary themes.

In another puja pandal in west Kolkata, organisers have selected relief as their theme, replacing the idol of Goddess Durga with a statute of a migrant woman carrying her child. Her children, including a son with an elephant-head walk behind her.

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