Aditya Vaibhav

Munger :  With a huge influx of migrants returning to their native places, Chhath Puja has gathered momentum in Munger district. While the Puja has managed to maintain its simplicity thanks to the sanctity attached to it,  for many, the celebrations now lacks the cohesiveness.

Even for the first-timers, the sentiment is best felt back home. “This is the first time I am performing the Chhath rituals myself. My mother- in -law used to perform the four-day Chhath rituals alone,” said an excited Anju Singh who came all the way back to Munger from Patna for the festival. “The rituals of Chhath are too demanding to be performed by a novice all alone,” she said and added that thorough supervision is required while performing the rituals.

Aakanksha Pandey, a housewife, rued that the DJs (disc jockeys) have taken over the culture of traditional songs. “The songs that we used to sing at the village brought all women together and had a very special community feeling about it. It was the way that these songs were sung that moved the devotees.”

It’s only the matter of past 10 years that Chhath puja has gathered public attention in Delhi, said Awadhesh Sharma, a carpenter who works in a woodworking unit operational in Ghitorni area of Delhi. “I have been in Delhi since the 1970s. Nobody even knew about chhath, then. But it was only after 1997, we saw Melas and, of course, better arrangements for the puja,” he said. Still, Delhi is no match for the familial fervour aback home, Sharma said.

Meanwhile, Munger administration is ready for the Chhath Puja, that kickstarted on October 24 with devotees thronging local Ganga Ghats for taking bath and collecting the sacred Gangajal.

Highly placed administrative sources informed The SpeedPost that the Uttarvahini (the river that flows northwards) Ganga crosses as many as 23 panchayats of Dharahara, Jamalpur, Munger Sadar and Bariarpur blocks of Munger district. A team of SDRF has already reached the district and is monitoring the ghats on realtime basis besides the trained Homeguard jawans deployed by the district administration.

Of the said ghats, Do-mantha, Sojhi, Babua, Bangali Tola, Lal Darwaza and Kashtharni ghats are the prominent ones as they fall in the urban belt. Six boats with two divers each have been deployed by the administration for conducting rescue and relief operations, if required.

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