Kolkata Durga pujas face fund crunch

Kolkata Durga pujas face fund crunch

An artist gives finishing touches to an idol of Goddess Durga ahead of Durga Puja festival at Kumartuli in Kolkata, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The big-budget Durga Pujas in Kolkata are struggling to cope with the lack of advertisement from corporate houses, which is their main source of funding. According to major Durga Puja organisers in the city, advertisements from corporate houses have dried up due to the ongoing economic slowdown. They also said that such advertisements constitute 40% to 80% of their funding.

The organisers also said that advertisements come from agencies who communicate with them on behalf of the corporate houses. But this year, the number of advertisements have gone down with corporates offering low rates for advertisements.

However, organisers were unable to provide any statistics as there is still about two weeks time for Durga Puja to start.

The Santosh Mitra Square Puja committee in Central Kolkata has a budget of about Rs 3 crore. According to Sajal Ghosh, the joint secretary of the puja committee receives 80% of its funds from corporate advertisements. This year, the organisers are apprehensive that decreasing advertisements will have have an adverse impact on funding.

Organisers of the College Square Durga Puja in Central Kolkata are worried whether they have enough advertisement revenue to meet their estimated budget of about Rs one crore.

“So far, the agencies are only making inquiries about advertisements. But nothing concrete has come up,” said Bikash Majumdar, the secretary of the puja committee.

The organisers of the popular Bagbazar Sarbojonin puja committee are considering significantly decreasing their budget this year due to lack of corporate funding. Last year, they had a budget of about Rs 70 lakh.

The situation has become as such that even Durga Pujas with which senior TMC Ministers such Subrata Mukherjee and Sujit Basu are facing fund crunch due to lack of advertisements.