durga puja

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Transform of the community or Sarbajanin puja

Durga Puja

Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.
Transform of the community or Sarbajanin puja

Initially the Puja was organised by rich families since they had the money to organise the festival. During the late 19th and early 20th century, a burgeoning middle class, primarily in Calcutta, wished to observe the Puja. They created the community or Sarbojanin Pujas.These Pujas are organised by a committee which represents a locality or neighbourhood. They collect funds called chaanda through doortodoor subscriptions, lotteries, concerts etc. These funds are pooled and used for the expenses of pandal construction, sculpture construction, ceremonies etc. The balance of the fund is generally donated to a charitable cause, as decided by the committee. Corporate sponsorships of the Pujas have gained momentum since the late 1990s. Major Pujas in Calcutta and in major metro areas such as Delhi and Chennai now derive almost all of their funds from corporate sponsorships. Community fund drives have become a formality.Despite the resources used to organise a Puja, entry of visitors into the Pandal is always free. Pujas in Calcutta and elsewhere experiment with innovative concepts every year. Communities have created prizes for Best Pandal, Best Puja, and other categories.

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