Bhubaneswae/Berhampur/Jajpur: Odisha may witness a colourless Holi this year due to the Coronavirus scare.
Like every year, many temporary shops have opened in the Odisha capital. They all are license holders and have brought colours and other accessories worth lakhs of rupees. But Coronavirus fear has brought a drastic change in the buying pattern compared to previous years.
“We have opened five colour and other Holi-related items shops near Durga Mandap in Saheed Nagar. We had taken a license from the government to open the shops but Coronavirus scare has spoiled everything,” said Satya Narayan Mohapatra, a seasonal businessman in Odisha capital.
“There has not been a single customer since morning. I have brought Holi-related products worth of Rs 2 lakh. My friends here have also brought stuff worth lakhs of rupees. We fear huge losses,” he added.
“I feel the government should allay the fear of the people regarding playing Holi but it is not happening. We have spent near about Rs 10,000 for the license only,” said Satya Narayan.
“We are selling organic colours. They are harmless. Other colours have been brought from Jatani and Kolkata. But people have a wrong notion that we are selling products from China. That is why they are not coming to buy any colours from the shop,” he added.
Families across the Odiha capital are cutting down the celebrations. “Instead of using colours and water guns, we have planned to go for a long drive on Holi this year,” said Namita, a student.
The excitement over the festival of colours is clearly missing.
Coronavirus scare has also affected the sale of colours in other districts.
The sale of colours and other Holi related products is very less in Jajpur district including Mangalpur and Jhumpuri markets under Dasarayhpur block. People from nearby villages and from Jajpur town also usually come to these two villages to buy colours but this year, that spirit of joy is missing.
Interesingly, people and children in Mallikapur village near Jajpur town were seen playing with Chandana and flowers instead of using Abhira on Dola Purnima.