Navratri 2021: Women perform garba in PPE to raise awareness about Covid-19
- A similar initiative was taken up by fashion designing students in Surat last year, who performed garba in hand-painted costumes made of PPE kits.
Gujarat witnessed a unique Navratri celebration with a group performing the Indian folk dance ‘garba’ in personal protective equipment (PPE) to raise awareness about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
A video shared by news agency ANI showed a group of girls dancing to a folk song in full protective gear. Hindustan Times has not independently verified the authenticity of the video.
The organisers said it was an attempt to caution the general public about the dangers of Covid-19 "This Garba aims to spread awareness among the public about Covid-19," Rakshaben Boriya, an organiser, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
A similar initiative was taken up by fashion designing students in Surat last year, who performed garba in hand-painted costumes made of PPE kits.
Their ‘Covid Garba Dress’ was made of polypropylene fabric approved by the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), and designed by the students themselves.
These ‘Covid Garba Dresses’ were later donated to Covid care volunteers at the Civil Hospital in Surat. “This initiative was taken to express our gratitude to the artisans who have worked diligently to earn their living during this pandemic,” a faculty member from the college had told reporters.
The nine-day religious festival of Navratri is one of the most popular festivals in Gujarat and other parts of north India. In view of the ongoing pandemic, the Gujarat government has limited garba celebrations to housing societies and on streets, and capped the number of participants at 400. Also all garba participants need to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
However, commercial garba events have been cancelled this year.
Meanwhile, artisans who make the special dresses for garba continued to face mounting losses with the number of orders falling down drastically since the pandemic hit the country early last year.
While the government has given its nod to garba soirees this year, dress makers have received a rather lukewarm response, and have had to sell their creations at highly discounted rates.
Ami Dalal, a maker of Garba dresses, said he faced losses worth ₹4 to 5 lakh this. "I have been selling 'Garba' dresses for the last 41 years. I used to export the dresses to America and Bangkok, but this time, I have not received any order. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected our business. Despite easing of restrictions, people are only taking dresses on rent, no one is buying them. We have kept the discounts at 50 per cent."