If one wants to see the best example of communal harmony and camaraderie during Durga Puja then one had to visit Palasudha village under Garadapur block of Kendrapara district.
But in the ongoing Covid-19 crisis time, this year Durga Puja was celebrated in a low-key manner sans any pomp and show.
Here, the Hindus and Muslims exhibit a rare amity that sparkles with instances of unique brotherhood and cooperation during the Puja. The Muslims join hands with the Hindus to observe the annual festivity of Durga Puja, marking mutual respect, friendship and unity. Patkura police station IIC Sujit Kumar Pradhan said thanks to the Durga Puja, the Hindu and Muslim members display a rare gesture of unity and brotherhood in the riverside village of Palasudha as both the communities have been observing the festivity with fervour and gaiety for last one decade.
According to Palasudha Durga Puja Committee president Prafulla Kumar Singh, both Hindus and Muslims have been organising the Durga Puja in the village since 2008. "With the initiatives of late Golekha Singh, the Hindu and minority community brethrens of the village started the puja in the village first in 2008. Since then, the Puja is being organised nonstop," said Prafulla Samal, a villager. In the pandemic this year too, there was too much excitement and participation as the State Government and the district administration imposed a ban on celebrations.
"We observed the Durga Puja with religious fervour by following Covid-19 guidelines. Devotees were restricted to visit the puja pandal in hordes. Only seven persons, including the priests, were allowed to remain inside the puja pandal," said a puja committee member.