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Goddess Durga with Golden Mask unveiled to drive home Covid appropriate behaviour

Goddess Durga's idol with golden mask unveiled (Pic: Courtesy sangbadpratidin.in)

Making divinity a part of our life has been a tradition of Indian culture since long. Now with the world facing the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, Goddess Durga too is seen wearing a mask!

Yes, you got it right as Bandhu Mahal Club in Baguiati area in Kolkata on July 8 (Sunday) unveiled a Goddess Durga idol which is different as she was donning a 20-gram golden mask. Not only this, in order to drive home the point of safeguarding against Coronavirus, she is also bearing products that protect people from the disease.

Though preparations to make the idol are on the way, it was the basic concept that was made public yesterday.

Interestingly, those who conceptualised the concept have decided to drive home the point of protection against the pandemic as the Durga idol will also bear a thermal gun, syringe, and other medical products, instead of the usual objects like weapons, conch and lotus etc.

The organisers of the Puja in the area intend to convey and drive home the point of importance of safety and precautions for curbing and checking Covid pandemic.

Singer Aditi Munshi, talking to India Today after unveiling the idol at Bandhu Mahal Club said: “Please don't consider the gold mask as a high-end accessory. The thought behind this is that every daughter is a golden girl of Bengal, and every parent wishes to cover their daughter in gold. We have not placed the 20-gram gold mask as metal here. We have placed the mask to raise awareness and to promote the message that during this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it's critical to follow the doctor's safety advice.”

The idea of conveying a message about Covid was used in April this year during the Navratri festival too. Devotees in a temple in Etah, Uttar Pradesh during Chaitra Navratri were pleasantly taken back when they saw the Goddess Durga’s idol wearing a face mask and also interestingly, the priests distributing masks to the worshippers instead of the customary prasad.

Speaking to the media, the temple priest had observed that as Navratri was being observed during the Covid second wave with people being unaware of the situation in the State, the organisers had decided to put a face mask on the idol and distribute masks. This, he said, was to create awareness and promote appropriate behaviour among the devotees in order to fight the pandemic.

The organisers had also made adequate arrangements for sanitisation of hands in the temple premises. Further, to keep social distance, not more than five devotees were allowed in the temple.