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Bagaha : For shopkeepers and vehicle owners in West Champaran district festival period is always an expensive excercise. Sarswati Puja, scheduled for February 1, has brought a lot of misery to them as well as residents of  different localities of Bagaha town and rural areas. Puja committee volunteers in groups knock at their doors early  morning daily and demand `Chanda’ (donation).
Volunteers go to different shops as members of different Puja Committee and demand Chanda ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 500 as per the status of the shops and those refusing to donate are being threatened with dire  consequence.
Ramji Prasad and Sambhu Prasad, both owners of kiosk, Lalbabu Prasad, Karunakar Srivastava, who run photostat centres at Bagaha, and Shrawan Kumar Rungata, a cloth marchant, said that they were fed up with demand for Chanda from members of different puja committees. Many shopkeepers said earlier students celebrated the puja on their own. Suresh Bhalotia, a medicine dealer, says that no member of such puja committees can recite a single Sarswati Vandana.
Volunteers also collect donation on Bettiah- Chanapatia, Narakatiaganj -Bhikhanathori via Gaunaha, Ramanagar – Gobardhana, Bettiah –  Mainatand, Ramnagar -Lauria, Lauria- Valmikinagar via Bagaha, Bagaha- Chiutaha, Bagaha-Harnatand, Chautarawa – Bansi via Dhanaha roads in West Champarany by stopping vehicles. The drivers of from other states say the do not want to travel through Bihar during festivals.

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