Holi sales worst in years, say Chandigarh traders; RWAs cancel celebrations
Most of the city’s resident welfare associations (RWAs) and cultural bodies will not celebrate Holi or tone down celebrations in step with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in a Wednesday tweet said he’d give the festival of colours a miss following the coronavirus outbreak.
Among those affected by the move could be shopkeepers selling colours and squirt guns, who say this has been the “worst” year for sales.
No cancellations, however, have been announced by the Chandigarh Club and the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO).
On sales being hit, shopkeepers say no one is buying colours or water guns. “The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal will hold a meeting on Friday in which president Anil Vohra is likely to appeal to all members not to sell Holi colours or water guns from China,” sources said.
Festivities will be low key at the city’s top Holi destinations, the Post-Graduate Government College in Sector 46, hosted annually by the Purvanchal Welfare Association (PWA). Colours will not be used, organisers claimed, even as they claimed that VIP guests will include member of Parliament Kirron Kher, Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, mayor Raj Bala Malik, UT adviser Manoj Parida and Panjab University vice-chancellor Raj Kumar, among others.
“A small function will be held because our yearly magazine will be launched. However, we will not play Holi during the function. Further precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of the guests,” said PWA secretary Prabhu Nath Shahi.
Among RWAs, both the Chandigarh Residents Associations Welfare Federation (CRAWFED) and the Federation Of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) have issued advisories to their members to cancel celebrations. NGO Joshi Foundation, too, has called off its Holi bash. “From a rain dance party we had thought of downgrading festivities to a dry colour event, but that too will lead to contact, so we will not hold any celebrations,” said foundation chairman Vineet Joshi.
Hitesh Puri, who is on the board of directors at Chandigarh Club, said they will wait for a couple of days for government advisories before taking a call. CITCO will go ahead with celebrations at Hotel Mountview in Sector 10, with officials saying the organisers will take precautions and provide sanitisers