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BPUP for celebrating Puja maintaining health guidelines

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Staff Reporter
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad (BPUP) leaders yesterday called upon the country’s Hindu community to celebrate the Durga Puja with maintaining health guidelines properly keeping intact the religious rituals.
They made the call at a view-exchange meeting with journalists marking the Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of Bangalee Hindu community, on the premises of Dhakeshwari National Temple here.
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad (BPUP) President Milan Kanti Dutta chaired the meeting moderated by its General Secretary Nirmal Kumar Chattarjee. Puja Udjapan Parishad leaders JL Bhowmik, Soilendranath Majumder, Advocate Shyamal Roy, Shubhashish Biswas Sadhan and Biplab Dey were present, among others.
Milan Kanti Dutta said Kumar Puja, a ritual performed on the day of Maha Ashtami during the five-day festival, will not be held at any temple in Dhaka in the wake of coronavirus but it could be performed at some temples outside of Dhaka.
Nirmal Kumar Chattarjee said all religious rituals will be perfumed properly but extravaganza marking the festival will be avoided this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Special prayers will be offered on the day of Maha Saptami seeking recovery of the world community from the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
Offering of Anjali, he said, will be held on virtual media at some temples while not more than twenty five to 50 devotees will be allowed in offering Anjali physically at a time at temples.
Chattarjee said directives have been given to organizers of Durga Puja to shut down temples by 9pm after Sandhya Arati to avoid transmission of coronavirus.
Recently, Health Services Division issued directives for maintaining health guidelines during the Durga Puja in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
According to the instructions, while entering the puja mandap, one has to maintain health guidelines, including social distancing, using hand sanitizer and wearing mask.
Hand washing facilities, sanitizers and thermal scanner should be ensured at the entry points of puja mandaps.
No procession will be allowed at the time of immersion of the goddess Durga. Prashad distribution, arati (dance competition) and cultural festivals should be avoided.
Earlier on October 4, the Home Ministry gave some instructions to ensure the security of the puja mandaps and maintain law and order.
The Puja Udjapan Committees are asked to dial 999 for emergency help or support, if needed.
The annual five-day “Sharodiya Durgotsab” will begin with the unveiling of the face of the deity and Kalparambho on the day of Maha Sashthi on October 22 (Thursday).
The incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga will be held on October 21 (Wednesday) on Maha Panchami, a day before Maha Maha Sashthi at temples across the country.
Maha Saptami puja will be performed on October 23 (Friday), Maha Ashtami, Kumari Puja and Sandhi Puja on October 24 (Saturday) and Maha Nabami Puja on October 25 (Sunday).
The festival will end with the immersion of the idols of the Goddess Durga on Bijoya Dashami on October 26.
The Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion heralding the advent of goddess Durga, was celebrated on September 17 last.
Durga Puja will be arranged at 30,225 puja mandaps across the country this year.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the number of puja mandaps decreased by 1,173 as Durga Puja was arranged at 31,398 mandaps across the country last year.
A total of 233 puja mandaps will arrange Durga Puja in the capital while the number was 237 last year.
Durga Puja will be arranged at 7014 mandaps in Dhaka division, 3906 in Chattogram, 4689 in Khulna, 2646 in Sylhet, 1584 in Mymensingh, 1701 in Barishal, 5250 in Rangpur and 3,435 in Rajshahi division this year.