Kolkata, October 11: Breaking all the basic societal norms and male bastions, a group of women in Kolkata are making loud plea for gender equality this Navratri. As part of the traditional rituals, female priests for the first time have set aside century old customs by making this Durga Pooja historic in Kolkata.
All the ceremonies to honour the Goddess Maha Shakti are being carried out by these four female priests namely Nandini Bhowmick, Ruma Roy, Seymanti Banerjee, and Poulomi Chakroborty. The 66 Pally Club in south Kolkata has ventured into uncharted territory with its theme 'Mayer Haate Mayer Abahon' (Mothers worshipping the Mother Goddess).
The organisation, known as 'Shubhamastu,' was founded 12 years ago and has already presided over numerous Hindu rituals such as marriages, shraddha, and grihapravesh around the city. It is led by Nandini, a former Sanskrit professor and stage performer. This will be the first time they have held a communal Durga Puja.
The 'Shubhamastu' organisation asserts that, unlike traditional priest groups, there is no leader or head priestess. They hope to educate people on how to do rituals while adhering to age-old customs, as well as encourage more women to come out and explore areas where they have not previously ventured.