Amid the COVID-19 pandemic putting a dampener on festive spirits, an idol of Durga set up in Hyderabad on the occasion of the Durga Puja, portrays the Goddess slaying the virus.
Speaking to ANI, Gulab Srinivas, the organiser of the Durga Puja pandal featuring the creation, said that the 31-foot idol captured the essence of what people felt- that of coronavirus affecting the lives of people just like a demon.
“This year, COVID-19 has been troubling us the most so we decided to create an idol of goddess Durga killing it like she killed the demon Mahishasura. It is 31 feet tall and the artists were brought in from Kolkata,” Srinavas said.
He also claimed that the idol, made of clay and grass, was eco-friendly, and watercolours were used for painting.
He added, “We are following all COVID-19 guidelines advised by the government and are making sure that people follow social distancing norms and put on masks.”
This year, the idol was considerably smaller than the usual 44 to 50 feet due to the pandemic.
“Usually, we make idols that stand at a height ranging from 44 feet to 50 feet, but this year, we reduced the size to 31 feet. I pray to the goddess to make this world free from this pandemic situation,” he added.
Maninder Singh, a devotee, said that they did not visit pandals and temples due to the pandemic.
“Every year, we celebrate Dussehra in a very grand manner. But this year, due to COVID-19, we are unable to celebrate it like we used to. We are not able to visit a temple or a pandal with our family as group gatherings are not allowed so we are visiting the temple individually and are offering our prayers,” Singh said.
This year, Durga Puja is being celebrated from October 23 to October 26 across the country.