The situation was heavy till May and June. West Bengal’s puja authorities were clamoring for inquiries from corporate agencies. It was assumed that the magnificent Durga Puja is returning after the Corona period. The entrepreneurs, who had come down to a budget of 7 to 8 lakh rupees in the last two years, also made a budget of 30 lakh rupees in one jump!
Disinterested corporate agencies
But since the last week of July, the number of people coming to collect Puja ‘rates’ has decreased, and so have the calls from corporate agencies. Almost no corporate body is making the talk. As a result, one of the puja officials is worried because all 15 gates are still empty. Someone worries about not getting a ‘title partner’. The question most of them is, is this situation due to the arrest of leaders and ministers? Worryingly, the patrons or well-wishers of the puja tend to keep away from engagement.
People who have sponsored in cash earlier are also saying that they will think at the end of September. Many of the leaders of the big puja demand that work should be continued in the meantime. But the small and medium puja committees do not understand, how it will be dealt with in any way!
Incidentally, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was sitting in a meeting with the Puja Committees at Netaji Indore on Monday. There she increased the number of donations to the clubs. She has also announced a discount on electricity bills. Although the big puja claims, that 60,000 rupees in donations are a very small part of their budget.
Sutapa Das, the entrepreneur of Hindustan Park, said, “Even in May-June, the number of calls coming for advertisement is much less than in July-August. I am worried about what to do.” Samajseva entrepreneur Arijit Maitra said, “This time, the corporate enthusiasm that was seen from the beginning, has declined in the arrest of leaders and ministers. The money that corporate organizations pay for a gate in small or medium pujas is much more than in big pujas.
The fear of what might happen next if people give money to the puja associated with their name may be working in the corporate bodies. Thinking that they may also be called into the investigation, this time if they choose to spend wisely, small and medium pujas will suffer. Corporate advertising has not come much in the last two years. If the situation is the same this time too, many pujas may not take place next time.”
Abhishek Bhattacharya, the entrepreneur of Tala Barwari, claims again, “Seeing big names, many people give money out of fear or devotion. But small or medium pujas do not have that opportunity. Now, what will happen if corporate organizations also take the opportunity of low money at the last minute, it is not possible to say.” Sudipta Kumar, the owner of Deshapriya Park, famous for ‘Big Puja’, or Gautam Niyogi of Puja in Bagbazar, reported similar confusion about the budget.