Gurugram: Several housing societies in the city have decided to do away with the customary Holi Milan on the occasion of Holi this year. Reason: the coronavirus scare. Nobody would like to take chances at a time when the contagious disease is knocking at the door.
As Holi is approaching people made elaborate preparations for the Holi Milan programmes to add vibrancy to the festivity. However, with the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, several RWAs opted to cancel the programme to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
Chaitali Mandhotra, an RWA member of Ardee City, said they had issued a notification informing the residents about the cancellation of the programme.
Recounting that they have been celebrating Holi and holding Holi Milan has always been the best part of it when thousands of people come together feasting delicacies and enjoying music and dance, she lamented, “This time, we have no option but to cancel the event. We cannot take chance, it is for our safety only."
Many other RWAs have called off the event as a precaution after preparing for the festivity.
Lokesh Yadav, general secretary of K block RWA Vatika India Next, said, "We had prepared to celebrate the festival on a big scale. Everything from DJ to food was booked. But in view of the current situation arising from coronavirus we cancelled the programme. Only symbolic puja ritual on Holika Dahan will be carried out in the society."
For many like Satpal Thakran, a resident of J block Mayfield, the festival of Holi is about community bonding. However, with the sudden crisis situation he decided to cancel the event in the larger community interest.
"We have been celebrating traditional Haryanvi lathmaar Holi for the last 15 years and were fully prepared this time also. But due to the threat of coronavirus and for the public interest we cancelled programme," said Thakran.
Not just the housing societies, corporates too are taking precautions in the wake of the outbreak. "We at Vatika Business Centre are not playing colours on Holi because of coronavirus spread. In addition to this, we have issued a health advisory to all our clients and strategically placed hand sanitisers and awareness signs at all our business centres for encouraging people to maintain personal hygiene," said Vineet Taing, president of Vatika Business Centre.
Similarly, Arrman Chaudhry, president, People and Culture at M3M Group, said, "In the wake of coronavirus and as a precautionary measure we have cancelled our Holi event which was planned for all M3M employees. The safety of our employees is of utmost importance to us."
Notably, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi said that he had decided not to participate in any 'Holi milan' programme as experts have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
"Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence this year, I have decided not to participate in any 'Holi milan' programme," the PM tweeted.