HYDERABAD: It is just a few days to go for Holi but the festivities have not kicked in as the normal rush at sweets, gulal and pichkari shops are missing. Citizens continue to be spooked by the Coronavirus and want to avoid crowds altogether.
Several families across the city are cutting down on celebrations and cancelling Holi parties. “Every year, on Holi, we organise ‘Holi Samaroho’ for our colony people, where we all play Holi with gulal, but this is the first time we are not organising the ‘Samaroho’ as many are scared that they might get infected in public gatherings,” said Ravi Kishore, a Secunderabad resident.
“There is usually a high demand for tickets to Holi pool parties but Covid-19 has completely killed the mood,” said T Arun Kumar, owner of Vajra Events.
Overall, the event planning market has seen a dip of 40-50 per cent, especially in Hyderabad, says Arun Kumar. KK Events, another event management company, says it is currently organising only weddings.
Market takes a hit
An eerie silence reigns in markets such as Begum Bazar where customers usually shop on the eve of Holi. “We stock our shops at least three-four months in advance. This year there seem to be absolutely no buyers,” said Subhash Kumar of Balaji Colours at Begum Bazaar. He added that Holi sales are 70% lower this year. He blames social media messages which have called for boycott of Chinese-made Holi colours and pichkaris.
“We are not importing anything from China. All our products are made in India and come from Mumbai or Kerala. Yet are sales are very low,” rues Subhash Kumar.