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Corona Dampens Holi Spirit


The Corona Virus (COVID-19) scare has dampened the spirit of Holi as the sales of colours and water guns have reduced considerably in the markets of Odisha.

With COVID-19 (also called China Bemari in Odisha) fear gripping the entire world, the Holi market in Odisha also suffered a lot as people keep away from purchasing colours, toys and other items.

The seasonal businessmen who used to make quick bucks every year by doing Holi business, this time curse their fate and will remember 2010 as well as coronavirus for a long time.

“I regret this year for investing Rs 5 lakh in this holi business. I have not sold colour and other items worth Rs 1 lakh till Monday night,” said Babuli Sahoo, a businessman near Unit-8 Kalyan Mandap area.

Mr.Sahoo’s condition also prevailed in all markets including in the Unit-I Haat. Though about 80 per cent of the Holi toys had come from China before outbreak of corona disease in December, customers do not touch such items.

The Holi spirit is totally dampened as parents have put strict restrictions on children against celebrating the festival of colours. Even many colonies, sahis and unit areas have banned holi celebration fearing the deadly diseases which has so far claimed above 3,000 human lives.

This is for the first time that the associations and clubs have come together suggesting people not to celebrate Holi as it is usually observed every year thus affecting the Holi business.

Many college campus, farmhouses and five-star hotels across the State Capital and Cuttack have cancelled their Holi celebration events and signature pool parties.

“We have cancelled the Holi celebration this time as a precautionary measure against corona virus,” said the General Manager of a star hotel here.

Though some people come to purchase India made colours, they run away while seeing certain Chinese products at the stall, said a trader in the Unit-I Haat area.

The traders said that they get maximum benefits from the Chinese water guns and small water tanks of 18 and 24 inches, and each costing about Rs 300-500.

Holi Toys produced in China are not available in the State as traders failed to import those toys due to occurrence of COVID-19 in China.

Normally, the toy traders start ordering the Chinese Holi colours and sprinklers soon after the Chinese New year, as the consignments from the Chinese toy industry take 14-30 days to reach here.

This year, the Chinese New Year was on 25 January, but with the outbreak of COVID-19, the reopening of the factories that normally happens after two weeks of celebrations were extended in many parts of China.
 
 


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