By R. Subrata (TNI Siliguri)  ~ Edited By D. Prasun (TNI Siliguri)

Webdesk, TNI Siliguri, 16th September 2014:  Various Durga Puja organizing committees of Siliguri is facing an uphill task of gathering sponsors in this festive season. Many Durga Puja committees of Siliguri is bracing up for a tough year with sponsorships drying up owing to the Saradha fallout leading to the uncertain political situation in Bengal. One of the official (identity not to be disclosed) of a 40 year old Durga Puja committee of the city told timesofnorth.IN “We are facing a sponsorships crunch by almost 50 per cent than last year. More to our anxiety the normal sponsorships have dropped from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 2,000 per brand. We are thinking to put in our personal money for running the puja this season”.

In another instance a famous Durga Puja organizing committee located at the Siliguri suburbs, which was considered as one of the top contenders in North Bengal’s top Durga Puja Samman contest every year, has drastically reduced its Puja budget by almost 40% from the last year. The secretary told us that “This year we are not in contention of any position in the Sarad Sammans Contest. This is our compulsion and not intention. Let’s hope to see it better next year”. Experts believe that this fallout was evident because of the chit fund scam which is rocking the headlines from last year due to the Saradha fallout. Over the last 3 years the companies like Saradha, Ramel, Tower, etc had invested heavily to the grandeur of the city’s Durga Puja. From the last year those funds are totally missing. On the other hand the cost cutting of the FMCG, Insurance, Telecom, Soft Drinks, Foods companies etc. in their promotion budgets has also hit the Puja organizing committee’s expectation. Some others have a viewpoint, that a large amount of Puja sponsorship money is divided and allocated to the religious events like Sarbojonin Ganesh Utsab, Community Shani Puja, Bishwakarma Puja etc. Henceforth, only a handful of amount is kept for the Durga Puja sponsorship. It is quite evident from the puja preparation of various well know puja committees of Siliguri this year, because barely 14 days are left, and yet the decorators have not started the main work of the puja pandals still.

Photos: R. Subrata (TNI)

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