Durga puja pandals to compete for ‘Sharod Samman’

Festive fervour

As they set up the Durga puja pandals across the city, puja committees this year are enthused by the ‘Sharod Samman’, an effort to grade and reward the best pandals.

Besides bringing discipline among the organising committees, Samman has also given a competitive touch to the festival. A panel of jurists and the public would vote for the best puja location until Thursday.

The idea is the brainchild of Maitree Bandhaan, the largest Bengali organisation in Bengaluru. It is also the largest in south India and the second largest in the country.

“The Durga puja fever has been sweeping Bengaluru with greater intensity each year, attracting large crowds and fan following,” said Sandeep Shome, general secretary, Maitree Bandhaan.

“The Sharod Samman is only a platform to acknowledge the hard work of volunteers, artisans and associations that work collectively all through the year to make the event a success,” he explained.

Organisers said over 100 Durga puja committees have registered for Sharod Sanman and voting would begin from Monday. They also said the concept was introduced in a small way last year, while being adopted at a much larger scale this time.

“This (Samman) isn’t restricted to just the Bengali community alone,” said Rudra Shankar Roy, advisor to Maitree Bandhaan. “It would include all Durga puja events, be it Bengali, Assamese, Tripura, Oria or Karnataka. People can vote using an Android app from today.”

In all, 10 trophies will be given in different categories. “While people can vote directly in 12 categories, the remaining two categories are meant for juries,” Roy said.

The jury panel includes former DG&IGP R K Dutta, IGP D Roopa Moudgil, writer-director Ranjon Ghoshal, musician Soumya Shankar Roy and others.

“On October 16, the jury will visit the pandals to make assessments,” Roy said.

Each of the pandals will be assessed under categories like clean and green, crowd management, eco-friendly initiative, decoration, cultural activities, bhog distribution, idols and streaming of events. The voting will close on October 18 at 10 pm.

“Scores given by the public as well as the juries will be clubbed to assess the winner. On October 18, during the visarjan of the idols of goddess Durga, a jamming show will be
held at Ulsoor by famous percussionists involving dhakis (traditional drummers) from West Bengal,” he said.

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Durga puja pandals to compete for ‘Sharod Samman’

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