Tiger Conservation -Puja Theme
Theme based Durga Puja has been the norm for quite a few years now particularly in Kolkata but this year Beleghata Sandhani Club has surprised many with its choice of theme- Tiger Conservation !
History says once upon a time tigers were used to be seen in areas around Garia , Tollygunge but urbanization has replaced them all with human settlements. Well Sandhani Club may not be bringing tigers to the streets of Kolkata but they do want to spread the message of human-tiger conflict resulting in loss of habitats for one of the charistmatic species on our planet.
In Kerala during Onam , people paint their body with colours and stripes like that of tigers and perform the tiger dance to the beats of instruments. The dance is popularly known as Pulikali (Puli meaning Tiger and Kali implying play in Malayalam language). Literal meaning of Pulikkali is thus the ‘play of the tigers’ and hence the performance revolve around the theme of tiger hunting. Display of PuliKali throughout the pandals will be used to depict the human-tiger conflict and resultant loss to tigers that are so prevalent across the length of the country .Theme artist Krishanu Pal is busy giving finishing touches to his thoughts along with other Club members who all feel and believe in the relevance of the theme particularly in a year when worldwide tiger census is being carried out including India (where 70% of wild tiger population resides)
Incidentally this is the first year when Beleghata Sandhani Club (they have been organizing Pujo for the last 49 years) has decided to foray into theme based Durga Puja and they start with a roar -“the roar of the tiger”. Let us wait for another few days (Durga Puja starts from 16th October this year) to see how Calcuttans react to the roar!
Picture : Team Sandhani with the “Tiger” at Calcutta Press Club
Also associated with team Sandhani is Rathindranath Das who is set to start his Global Bike Campaign from 3rd November promoting the theme “Save Tiger Save Forests” (Read below)
Note : We will update the blog with more pictures as the Pandals and Idols get ready to welcome the visitors.