Bangla channels' programming blitz for Durga puja

Programming-wise Bangla channels have taken up an aggressive stance, churning out a great amount of content, to get the maximum out of this year?s Durga puja festival. A major part of the programming content has been devoted to on-ground activities with an increased participation of local groups like puja committees. Participation of celebrities in both outdoor and indoor shows is one thing the channels have ensured to get the maximum eyeballs.

Live programmes, contests, cultural programmes and celebrity shows figure in Bangla television?s pooja schedule this year.

A look at how Bangla channels are covering this year?s puja celebrations:

Alpha Bangla

Festivities will begin on Alpha Bangla from Saat Sakal (breakfast show) daily at 8 am. At 8 am from Shashthi (19 October) to Dashami (23 October), Durga and her family along with Narad and Urvashi will leave all pandals and land up in the Saat Sakal set to share their feelings about the pujas this year, their experience on earth this year.

Following Saat Sakal is Sharadiya Katha Sharadiya Gaan daily (Monday to Saturday) at 10 am. Sharadiya Katha will include interviews of different people who specifically work during the pujas and also an insight into the different folk arts of Bengal. The Sharadiya Gaan segment will feature all the popular Puja songs of pre-1975. The channel?s daily game shows Dhanni Meye and Hau Mau Khau have been given a puja special look and feel.

Apart from this the Alpha Bangla team will move around with the Asian Paints Sarad Samman jury and telecast it on the channel on 22 October and 23 October at 5 pm. The channel will showcase the Pratidin Puja Perfect competition from 19 October to 22 October 2004 at 11 pm. The best puja will be appreciated with a grand prize. Daily at 11 pm, the channel will air Puja Parikrama.

On 23 October and 24 October, Saat Range Pujor Alpha will showcase different games at different pandals participated by the public and the celebrities. The show will also provide an insight into the history and tradition of puja.

Aakash Bangla

Pujor Sera Sundari is a beauty contest conducted in various puja pandals. The channel will air the four episode-long show at 8 pm from 20 October to 23 October. There will be another segment in this programme pujo Parikrama through which the channel will cover the puja celebrations.

One of the most popular shows on Aakash Ei To Sujog has been given a new festive look. The pujo special Ei To Sujog is slotted for 1 pm, Monday - Friday. Celebrity anchors like Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Arjun Chakraborty, Parambrata, Rudraneel anchor these episodes and the participants will include famous women from different walks of life. The Aaakash Bangla show Bhalobashi Tai Gai which highlights the different facets of Puja from the ?Strotro path? to ?sindoor khela? is scheduled from 18 October to 22 October at 5:35 pm.

Pujo Dhunuchi contest from 20 October to 22 October will be a dance contest that will take place in different Puja mandaps. From each mandap, one best dancer will be chosen. Puja SMS contest from 18 October to 22 october will have viewers sending SMS related to Puja and the best message will be awarded with a prize. Pujo Dhaak contest from 20 October to 22 October is meant to energise the Dhaakis in different Puja mandaps. A competition will take place and three winners will be selected from the contenders at different Puja mandaps. Pujor Best Caption from 20 October to 22 October is a caption contest revolving different range of products. Thre best caption will be given an award.

Aakash Bangla is planning to telecast four films, which depict the essence of Durga pooja, from 20 October to 23 October at 2:45 pm. An interactive show Abasanar will feature inmates of the new housing complexes, which have come up in and around Kolkotta. The Bengali residential apartments, ABASANS, will be visited, the residents will be asked to participate in different games and win fabulous prizes.

The channel is telecast the award show Sharad Samman where several awards would be announced covering the various facets of excellence revolving around the Puja. The best puja committees of Kolkata and suburbs will feature the Akash Bangla Sharad Swikriti 2004. On the eve of Nabami, the channel will declare the winners.

Tara Bangla

The channel will telecast an interactive show titled Subhechha Online from 9 am to 9:30. Through this show, viewers can send puja greetings live on air from Tara?s studios to friends and relatives abroad. From 9:30 to 10 am, the channel will telecast new releases by renowned singers for the Pujas in the show Pujor Gaan.

From 19 October to 23 October, Tara will air the show Pujor Boithoko Adda participated by writers, actors, singers and painters. The show Pujoy Ghuri Bidesh at 2 pm introduces the viewers to various foreign tourist destinations.

The show Mayer era Baper Bari is a contest amongst the best puja of various multi-storied apartment buildings within the city. The best pandal will be chosen. The programme will air on Tara from 20 October to 22 October at 2:30 pm. To select the best dance institution in the state, Tara is conducting a contest titled Tara Nat Mandir during Durga Puja. The channel will telecast the show from 20 October to 22 October at 9 pm.

During the celebrations, Tara plans to show telefilms based on works of famous writers from 20 October to 23 October at 3:30 pm with a repeat midnight. The schedule: On 20 October, Nemai Bhattacharjee?s Kanta, on 21 October, Buddhadeb Guha?s Abhilasha, On 22 October Nabanita Deb Sen?s Rup Kathar Jibon and on 23 October Ringo?s Daman.

ETV Bangla

ETV Bangla plans to celebrate the puja with a stress on live events. The channel claims that the theme of the entire programming is live.

"ETV Bangla wants to make the people to celebrate the Puja sitting at home as it plans to capture each and every rituals of the Puja and the happenings in their locality and the festive mood," offers a channel official.

Some of the shows ETV Bangla has lined up: On 20 October the Saptami day, from 6:05 to 6:30 am, the channel will telecast Kalabou snan which is a ritual that includes the washing of a banana tree, ideally in Ganga. From 20 October to 22 October, ETV Bangla will telecast Puja-live Parikrama at first half-an hour and in six breaks of the telefilm from 10 pm to 1 am. On 21 October from 11:05 to 12 noon, the channel will telecast a puja update programme.

On 22 October, which is the Nabami day, ETV Bangla will telecast Hom, Samarpan, Dakhinanto Pujo and Pushpanjali from 11:30 pm to 12:30 pm. On 23 October, from 11:05 am to 12 noon, ETV Bangla will air the rest of the pujo clubs parikrama roundup and sindhoor khela-live. From 9:30 pm to 10 pm, the channel will telecast the Bisarjan curtain raiser.

ETV Bangla will telecast the bisarjan live on 24 October from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am. The channel will present celebrities including Sharmila Tagore, Rakhi Guljar. Saumitra Chattopadhyay, Sunil Ganguly and Ramkumar Chattopadhyay during the live telecast. The prominent anchors the channel has roped in for Durga puja include Ranjan Ghosal, Joyobroto Chatterjee, Dwijen Banerjee, Biplab Ketan, Mir and Kanchan Mullick.

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