UNESCO team arrives in Kolkata for Durga Puja festivities


It started from Town Hall where various artisans had put up an ‘An Exhibition: Making of Durga Puja Art’

It started from Town Hall where various artisans had put up an ‘An Exhibition: Making of Durga Puja Art’

A team of officials of UNESCO led by Eric Falt, Director of New Delhi Cluster office, arrived in Kolkata on Thursday to participate in pre-Durga Puja festivities. Four teams of the UN body will visit about 50 Durga Puja pandals in different parts of the city during their three-day visit.

The team started from Town Hall where various artisans had put up an ‘An Exhibition: Making of Durga Puja Art’. Different stages of idol-making as well as lighting and decoration of pandals have been highlighted at the exhibition.

In December 2021, “Durga Puja in Kolkata” was included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Earlier this month the State government organized a grand rally to celebrate the recognition and invited UNESCO representatives. Participating in the event, Mr. Falt who is also the Director of UNESCO Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka said that Durga Puja celebrates what is best about its intangible cultural heritage.

Even though there was still a week left for the festivities to start, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee started with the inauguration of Sree Bhumi Sporting Club Durga Puja, FD Block in Salt Lake and Tala Pratyay in north Kolkata. At the inauguration of Sree Bhumi Durga Puja, she urged the organizers to ensure that there was no traffic blockage.

This year the State government has increased the honorarium to clubs organizing community Durga Pujas from ₹50,000 to ₹60,000. The cash incentive would cost ₹250 crore to the State exchequer. There are about 3,000 community Durga Pujas in Kolkata and nearly 37,000 in other parts of the State. A study by the British Council in 2019 had pegged the creative economy around the Durga Puja to ₹33,372 crore. The State government also declared a holiday from September 30 to October 10 for the Durga Puja festival.



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