NATIONAL SCAN

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Low-key Bijoya Dashami celebrations in Bengal                 

KOLKATA:  The five-day Durga Puja  festivities in Bengal came to an end on Monday, albeit colourful processions, which usually mark the occasion, were largely missing from the city streets, as the idol immersion ceremony was observed by just a handful of people. Dressed in traditional outfits and with masks worn on faces, devotees, while maintaining safe distance, touched the feet of goddess Durga as chants of ‘asche bochor abar hobe’ (till next year) rent the air. Women offered sweets to the goddess, even as the traditional ‘Sindur Khela’ (women smear each other with vermilion) was mostly restricted to organisers and a few local residents at the pandals. According to Kolkata Police sources, adequate arrangements have been made to ensure the idol immersion ceremony was peaceful everywhere, with CCTVs installed at all river ghats and personnel from civic bodies and Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) present at the venue to monitor the situation. This year, however, the Durga Puja carnival at Red Road, where big ticket committees showcase their idols before participating in the immersion procession, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PTI

Bommala Koluvu celebrated during Dussehra festival   

BERHAMPUR (ODISHA): Though the community  Durga Puja has been affected in Odisha’s Silk City here due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bommala Koluvu- a “fading tradition” has come to the forefront during the celebration of Dussehra festival among the Telugus. Bommala Koluvu is an exhibition of dolls and decorative pieces by female members of the Telugu people, mainly Kamma community and it commences from the first day of Navaratri – the nine-day festival and lasts till the final day of Dussehra. “We have displayed dolls, mostly of different deities, traditional bands and marriage processions of different states and religions to mark the celebration of the nine-day  ritual during Navaratri,” said J Sailaja (55), wife of J Narayan Rao, a doctor. She has taken about a week to decorate about 700 dolls in an 18X10 sq feet room with lighting arrangement, while her doctor husband has helped in the work. “It required around a week to decorate the dolls”, said Sailaja. “We have not used any plastic items”, said Narayan. “Most of the dolls are made of different woods, clay, clothes, brass and silver. While several of these dolls had been preserved by our forefathers, we have procured some others from different states and abroad”, he added. PTI

Polish city names square after Harivansh Rai Bachchan

MUMBAI: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says he is thrilled that the city of Wroclaw in Poland has named a square after his late father and celebrated poet, Harivansh Rai Bachchan. The 78-year-old actor took to Instagram on Sunday and posted a picture of a signboard of the square embossed with Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s name.  Amitabh Bachchan said getting to know about the honour for his father was a “blessing” on Dussehra. “The City Council of the City of Wroclaw, Poland has decided to name a Square after my Father. There could not have been a more apt blessing on Dushhera than this.  “A moment of extreme pride for the family, for the Indian community in Wroclaw and India. Jai Hind (sic),” he captioned the picture. Earlier in July, students of the University of Wroclaw paid homage to the veteran Hindi poet by reciting his popular poem ‘Madhushala’. PTI

Elephant calf found dead, 15th jumbo death in  Chhattisgarh since June

KORBA: An elephant calf was found dead in  Chhattisgarh’s Korba district on Monday, taking the count of pachyderm deaths in the state in the last five months to 15, officials said. The carcass of the baby jumbo was found near a pond in Lalpur village in Kendai forest range and a post mortem has been ordered to find out the exact cause of death, said Shama Farooqui, Divisional Forest Officer, Katghora division. On October 17 too, an elephant calf had died after falling into a pond in Kendai while another had been killed in a tiger attack in Udanti-Sitanadi tiger reserve in Gariaband district.  Chhattisgarh has witnessed 15 elephant deaths, including that of three calves, since June and most of them have taken place in Surguja, Korba, Balrampur, Surajpur, Raigarh, Jashpur and Koriya districts, which are known for human-animal conflicts. PTI