Durga puja

Research commissioned by British Council on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal

An MoU was signed in July 2018 by the Government of West Bengal and the British Council under which both parties agreed to establish a systemic partnership to improve awareness and people-to-people interactions between the United Kingdom and the state of West Bengal in India. As a part of the MoU, in 2019, the West Bengal Government's Department of Tourism invited the British Council to carry out a mapping exercise on their behalf to determine the economic importance of West Bengal's unique creative industries. 

Mapping the Creative Economy around Durga Puja 2019 research report looks at 10 creative industries that drive Durga Puja, possibly the world's largest public arts festival. 

The report estimates the economic worth of the creative industries around Durga Puja in West Bengal at Rs 32,377 crore (GBP 3.29 billion, USD 4.53 billion), which is the size of the economy of many smaller countries across the world. Durga Puja accounts for 2.58% of the state GDP and is just a weeklong festival.

This complex research is, as far as we know, the first of its kind in India done on this scale and combines both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the open access ecosystem that feeds the festival economy.

The research was led by Queen Mary University of London and supported by IIT Kharagpur, two of the finest education institutions in our two countries. The quantitative report was prepared by Smart Cube India Private Limited.

This collaborative effort to understand the value of this one festival chalks out a possible roadmap for states across the country – be it Diwali in the North, Pongal in the South or Ganesh Puja in the West and Bihu in the Northeast - to fully appreciate the economic as well as the cultural benefits these glorious festivals bring to their communities. With measurable evidence of the impact arts and culture organisations, businesses and government will be able to make effective decisions about public and private investment in the creative sector.