New Delhi: Flood affected people from Jammu and Kashmir have found a show of support at one of the city's Durga Puja Pandal, which has dedicated this year's theme to the flood victims as well as to the valour of the Indian Army.
"This year we are paying tribute to our 'Shaktimans' - the Indian Army who are guarding our borders and rescuing citizens in distress across the country be it is Jammu and Kashmir floods this year or the Uttarakhand floods last year," says Debashis Saha, Chairman, Organising Committee, Matri Mandir Durga Puja Samity, Safdurjung Enclave.
The main structure of the Samity's pandal has been dedicated to the flood victims and the entrance gate to the pandal pays homage to the soldiers of the country's army.
"Just like Durga Puja symbolises the reverence of "Maha-shakti Maa", festivity of life and freedom is synonymous with celebration of the brave men," says Saha.
The entrance of the pandal is fashioned like a 'Shaktiman' truck - the great war-horse of the valiant Indian armed forces -using materials like bottle caps, thermocol glasses, kettles and other household waste
"We have used the engines of the 'Shaktiman Truck' to build the gate. It will be fitted with various kinds of lights to emphasise the fa?ade of the truck. We hope it will be the main attraction," says Saha.
The organisers say they have spent about Rs 40 lakhs on the pandal this year which has used 10,000 pieces of themocol glasses, 20,000 or more pieces of disposable paper plates, 3000 pieces of tires, around two ton of metal scraps and 100 pieces of various sizes of kettles.
"This year our vision is celebration of the common. We shall be utilising a myriad collection of everyday objects, starting from wooden and metal scrap to kettles, automobile parts like tyres, ball bearings, clutch-plates, newspapers, rags, worn out brushes and transform it into art pieces to decorate the pandal," says Saha.
In previous years the Samity has earned fame for erecting pandals with concepts and themes ranging from Egyptian civilization to recreating the ambiance of London Olympics to a representation of a vibrant Gujarat.
"We are planning to donate a hefty amount for the Jammu and Kashmir flood victims to the Prime Minister's relief fund. During the pujas we will also ask visitors to donate clothes and other relief materials so that we can donate them to the victims," Saha told PTI.
The Puja Samity, in its 48th year of celebrations, have always been the centre point for cricketers, celebrities and politicians and have won many awards and accolades in the past.
"From VVS Laxman to Sachin Pilot, Sourav Ganguly, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit have visited the Pandal. This year Congress leader Ambika Soni will be inaugurating the Puja. We are expecting singer and Trinamool Congress leader Babul Supriyo to make a visit one of the days during the Pujas," says Saha.