They work in the scorching summer, the soaking monsoon, and the cold winter. They are construction workers, who toil every day to run their households. They may build many palatial houses, but most of them don’t even have a proper roof over their heads.
Bearing all this in mind, Dhakuria Sarbojanin Durgotsab, a prominent south Kolkata club has made ‘Sankalpa’ their theme for Durga Puja this time. Their pandal depicts the hard work of thousands of construction workers.
The club has pledged to stand with the construction workers. Speaking to News18, its secretary Soumyadeep Kar said, “Sankalpa means a vow or a resolution. These people who work against tremendous odds to keep our dreams afloat take the vow of not giving up until their job is finished. This goes on without any gap or peace in their lives. We intend to turn around the role. We this time are taking the vow of not giving up until we bond them with the social structure that we are in with equal rights.”
The puja theme is an ode to the dreammakers, ones who are deprived in the society that we live in, says the club. Through the theme, they have depicted the livelihoods of construction workers and how at the end of a day of gruelling labour, they worship the goddess just like everyone else, but in their own way.
“Since humankind has progressed in architectural brilliance, people who shape our dreams in forms of houses/homes or offices have always been the pivot by sacrificing their own happiness, needs, or at times lives. They are our dreammakers. We depend on construction workers or the daily wage earners to fulfil our dreams. But the realisation came to us and the question arises what about them? Do they enjoy it as much during the Durga pujas? Do they get proper days off? Can they afford new clothes for their kids or rather do they get the bare respect. Some of them are named ‘Mahadev’, ‘Parvati’, ‘Lakshmi’, ‘Kartik’ or ‘Ganesh’; they are human, the gods reside in them as well!” says the club committee.
The club has also made a film, ‘Sankalpo’, depicting the lives of construction workers, and has started a campaign for them.
After the puja, the club plans to connect with construction workers of Dhakuria and other areas and help them with things they need in their lives.
“Going forward, we intend to grow the bonding through round-the-year events involving them before we plunge into next year’s sharadotsav," said Kar.