Staff reporter GUWAHATI, Feb 1 - Saraswati Puja was celebrated across the city today with religious fervour and enthusiasm.
Students and teachers taking part in rituals on the occasion of Saraswati Puja at a school in Guwahati on Wednesday. – AT Photo
Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, is revered among the students who organise rituals at the campuses of their institutions, neighbourhoods and corners.
Large crowds of students, all dressed in colourful attire, were seen at the campuses of all educational institutions in the city since morning, including Cotton College, Handique Girls’ College, Gauhati Commerce College and other key institutions. Rituals were also organised at the hostels. Colourfully decorated gates adorned the entrances to the institutions and hostels. Prasad, mostly khichiri, was served to devotees at the puja venues.
Cultural programmes were also staged at some community pujas. Parks and eateries also saw a rush of youngsters.
As youngsters thronged the puja pandals in large numbers, heavy traffic snarls were witnessed, particularly towards the afternoon in areas like Panbazar, RG Baruah Road and GS Road. Over 60 pujas were held in and around the Gauhati University campus.
The Post Graduate Students Union of the GU had made an appeal for the celebration of Saraswati Puja in the varsity campus without the use of plastic items.
“We had arranged extra funds to ensure that the organisers did not use plastic and non-biodegradable items inside the campus. Many of the pujas used thermocol and utensils made of leaves. Of course, not all the pujas adhered to it. But we feel it is a beginning to ensure that the campus is plastic free,” Sanjib Talukdar, president of the student union, said.
On the other hand, a poster put up at the Cotton College gate barred the “coverage of media inside the campus.”
When asked, the Cotton College Union Society (CCUS) general secretary, Jintu Thakuria said the move was initiated primarily to prevent the electronic media from making a beauty pageant out of the celebrations. “Such TV shows result in a discrimination between the haves and the have-nots,” he said, adding that some 10,000 people, including those from other institutions took part in the celebrations at the college.