Among all that defines the true spirit of Kolkata, Durga Puja stands tall. The festive season has set the City of Joy in a buoyant mood and the fever has rapt everyone. Keeping alive the gusto, media houses in the city are going gung-ho with hordes of initiatives lined up for the biggest festival of Bengal.
Gone are the days of taking out simply a Puja Number (a popular collection of writings by renowned authors, published just before the festival days). In line with the corporate Kolkata, print media has also come up to cash in on the biggest opportunity of consumer-connect.
ABP group has chalked out an array of initiatives for the Puja days. “Our team will visit 450 Puja pandals (the temporary structure erected for worshipping the idol) across the city. We will award the best Pujas, the best pandals and bests in many other categories,” said Amitava Datta, Vice President, Anandabazar Patrika.
Joining the trend, Times Of India and Sambad Pratidin have also worked out a number of activities. While the Times Group is planning to pay tribute to the heritage Pujas of the city, the Bengali daily has joined hands with the retail shoe major Sreeleathers for giving Puja awards.
Keeping in view the social aspects that are normally lost in the gleams of celebration, The Telegraph is treading a different path. In association with the Goenka-owned power supply group, the ‘CESC-The Telegraph True Spirit Puja’ would give prizes on the basis three parameters – hygiene, safety and convenience. “These are the three main aspects that are often neglected in the midst of amazing pandal architecture or beautiful idols, and we want to emphasise on these points,” said Vivek Modi, Assistant Brand Manager, The Telegraph.
Not just the print media that’s going high with the spirit. The wide array of Bengali television channels has lots in store for the Puja days. To offer something unique, ETV Bangla has organised a live broadcast of the immersion of the deity. “We always get to see the immersion from the banks of the river. This time we will be covering the concluding episode from the middle of the Ganga,” said Pinaki Ghosh, Area Head – Marketing, ETV Bangla.
Alpha Bangla – the other leader in the segment, is going heavily with lots of award programming. The channel has three branded programmes – the Asian Paints Sharod Samman, Sambad Pratidin Pujo Perfect and ICICI Safe Pujo. “Our special programming has started one month before the Puja. We have a game show already on air. We’ll also have special coverage from Puja locations,” said Subhajit Ganguly, AVP – Marketing & Programming, Alpha Bangla.
Kolkata reminisces Puja of the days gone by with chanting of hymns and new songs aired by the All India Radio. With FM channels coming in the field, the single-source amusement has transformed into multi-channel entertainment, but the spirit remained unchanged. Catching the buoyant mood, FM stations have worked out series of initiatives.
Reckoned for its on-the-spot live coverage, Red FM is associated with more than 650 Puja locations. “We have tied up with several companies and media houses for awards. Moreover, there will be exciting on-ground activities at different favourite hangouts and at all major Puja locations. And, everything will be aired live,” said Jimmy Tangree, Station Manger, Red FM.
The other leader, Radio Mirchi is also ready to do it in a big way. “We will appeal to our listeners to come forward and extend support for the underprivileged children. We have tied up with Praivar, a non-governmental organisation to make this objective a success,” Mirchi Station Director Anand Parmeshwaram said.
To avoid accidents from the overhead high-tension electric wires by the Ganga, cops in Kolkata have cut to size Ma Durga. The Goddess won’t have that towering presence but the business round the festive season has scaled its own height. The electrifying mood in the media truly reflects the heartbeat of the city.