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I am a multimedia journalist currently working as a Senior Web Journalist/ Videographer with Khaleej Times in Dubai, UAE. Prior to this, I worked as a news editor with CNN’s Indian affiliate in Noida. I graduated from Syracuse University in New York state in 2012 with a Masters degree in Broadcast and Digital journalism. I have worked in video production, online journalism, features writing and market research over a period of four years.

Durga puja on wheels for cancer patients in West Bengal

By Nilanjana Gupta

Barasat: While thousands rush to the pandals to catch a glimpse of goddess durga, there are some who can’t make it to the durga puja pandals. Here at the Barasat cancer hospital, it’s anything but celebration. For the patients fighting for their lives, taking part in durga puja festivities, is too much to ask for.

However, this year the goddess herself is visiting those who can’t visit her, riding on the wheels. The durga puja vehicle complete with priests and drum beats is a one-of-a-kind concept was launched by Rameez Dewan and Rajib Sharma. “We want to take the goddess to those who can’t make it to her on their own,” said an enthusiastic Rajib.

The 4-day journey of the durga puja on wheels covers six towns in West Bengal including Barasat, Sodepur and Barrackpore. They take the goddess to the physically challenged, juvenile correctional facilities and to others who are unable to walk long distances. Patients pray to durga for their good health and long life. “I want to see durga ma again next year with my kids,” said a patient.

Some of the patients live in fear that this could be their last durga puja, and for some the physical and mental pain is just too much to take. But as the goddess herself comes riding on wheels, reaching out to hundreds of people and giving her blessings, it certainly brings some relief to them in their hour of grief.

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