Unlike last year, Indoreans celebrated Friendship Day with enthusiasm and took part in gatherings and parties on Sunday. Every restaurant and hotel had a long queue of friends waiting to dine in together. Friends from all walks of life thronged public places including picnic spots, Ralamandal, city zoo, malls, clubs, etc.
Kamla Nehru Prani Sangrahalaya recorded its highest footfall since Covid-19 outbreak. The footfall recorded was 14,000 said Dr Uttam Yadav, city zoo-incharge.
“There are multiple reasons for the huge turnout; from desire to see the black tiger to celebrating with friends on this special day,” said Dr Yadav. The bird aviary was the perfect friends’ click destination, Dr Yadav added.
Ralamandal had to close its doors to visitors as it was ‘housefull’ with 1,500 visitors spending the day at the sanctuary. “The parking was full and how can we allow so many people to crowd, where we have animals,” Dinesh Vaskil SDO (sub-divisional officer) Ralamandal said. He added that even wildlife safari ran about 30 shifts, which is rare.
“Usually, the shifts run even on weekends are about 15 to 18,” Vaskil said.
Cops were stationed at many places to ensure compliance to Covid-19 protocols. However, people still crowded at places and forgot the fear of coronavirus.
From early morning people were seen celebrating the day with like-minded people in unique ways. Fitness enthusiasts led by Vikram Awardee Yoga trainer Pankaj Soni created an inspirational symbol of peace and prosperity at Ralamandal.
Other fitness groups went on hikes, walks and cycle rides to outskirts of the city. Some seniors from Bal Niketan gathered and relived their school memories with an interactive event.
Since Covid-19 outbreak and enforced protocols, most festivals and days have lost their usual pomp and celebrations. However, this Friendship Day, people were fearless and came together to celebrate the day.
Most public places had special decor and offers to further lure in groups of friends. This year, social media did not float with pictures of friends until late evening, when people posted pictures of the day.
HUGE RUSH AT PICNIC SPOTS
With all picnic spots reopening on August 1, and today being Friendship Day, there was a huge rush of visitors at Patalpani, Choral Dam, Jam Gate, Sitlamata Falls and other nearby areas. Unfortunately, very few people were observing social distancing and wearing masks. According to a rough estimate only 25 per cent of the people were wearing masks.
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