Pune gears up for low scale Navratri festival amid pandemic
Pune: Navratri is one of the major festivals celebrated in Pune, Mumbai. Pandals are set up and Garba dances are organised during this nine-day festival. However, this year festivities have been halted amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
With Navratri slated to begin from Saturday, the preparations are underway with many organisers in the city have already set up their programme list for this year. The nine-day Navratri festival will be celebrated in a low grandeur while there won’t be any grand events of Dandiya, however, mandals and temples in the city have planned to host many programmes via internet.
Aba Bagul, Founder President of Pune Navratri Mohotsav, said, “From last 25 years, we are celebrating the festival in huge grandeur. This is our 26th year but considering the pandemic, we are not going to celebrate it lavishly. We request people to celebrate the festival in low key-affair.”
“The temples will be reopened only if devotees will stay home and take preventive measures for COVID-19. This year, let us pray ‘Devi Maa’ from home and follow social distancing,” he added.
There are over 2,500 small and big mandals in the city, who organise several programmes for all nine days.
Aditya Satpute, Organiser of Pune Lokmanya Festival said, “It is a festival we wait for through the entire year. Like every year, we had multiple plans to celebrate the nine-day festival but this year, the outbreak has created havoc as a result, we have decided to conduct all programmes online.”
“With darshan, cultural programmes and competitions, the festival will be celebrated the digital way,” he informed.
Kiran Angal, President of Shri Devi Chatushrungi Mandir Trust and Devendra Angal, Trustee, said, "We will follow all the norms issued by the state government. Navratri festival will be celebrated in the temple of Goddess Chatushrungi from October 17 to 25 this year. According to government rules, devotees will not be allowed to enter the temple premises for darshan. However, online darshan of will be arranged. Devotees can visit the temple's Facebook page and YouTube to seek blessings. Also, the LED screen will be installed at the entrance of the temple.”