As the country celebrates the victory of good over evil this Durga Puja, there is one Puja Pandal in Cuttack, which is celebrating the festival in its true spirit, by honouring the martyrs of the Uri attack.
One of the oldest in the Silver City Cuttack, the Khannagar Puja Committee has created a model representing the Tiger Hill and tricolour flying high over Siachen Glacier, miniature replicas of soldiers and tanks, guarding the country. There is ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ also, with the photographs of all the 18 valiant soldiers who were martyred in the Uri attack on September 18.
“We wanted the people to remember the sacrifices our jawans are making. With this, we are paying a tribute to our brave soldiers. We want to convey a message that we are with them in their fight and we will always support them. Our soldiers are our real heroes. We salute their bravery,” says Prafulla Kumar Sahoo, General Secretary of Khannagar Puja Committee, adding that the Puja Committee will donate Rs 25,000 for the Defence Welfare fund.
The thoughtful theme, while sending a powerful message, has also caught the fancy of hundreds of visitors thronging the Pandals.
“It is because of our soldiers that we are able to celebrate Durga Puja with great fanfare. This Durga Puja, my family and I have prayed for the safety of our soldiers. Like Maa Durga discarded the evil, we pray our soldiers also emerge victorious,” says Snigdha, a visitor.
The gate has cost the Puja Committee Rs 10lakh and while the total budget of Khannagar is Rs 30lakh.