Dombivli: With the rising cases of COVID-19 across Maharashtra, the Gudi Padwa 'Nav Varsha Swagat Yatra' at Dombivli has been cancelled for the second time in the last two decades.
The procession that gathers almost 30 to 50 thousand attendees is being organised annually by the Ganesh Mandir Sansthan since 22 years. The yatra that starts early morning at 6 am is usually colourful with women arriving dressed in attires like nauvari, and pethani and men and women riding Bullets or horses.
"It was the 23rd year. We would have celebrated Gudi Padwa by carrying out the procession. Entire Dombivli would be colourful as locals along with people from different cities and various parts of Maharashtra would come only to see the procession and the cultural event. It would go on for four hours moving around in Dombivli," said Rahul Damle, president of the Ganesh Mandir Sansthan.
Damle claims that when COVID-19 cases started growing last year, the Sansthan conducted a meeting with officials and locals. Taking precautionary measures, they cancelled the event.
"This year we ourselves had decided not to go ahead with the celebration. We didn't even receive calls from locals asking about it as people are aware of the rising cases. And it's our responsibility to follow the guidelines," added Damle saying people are celebrating at their homes.
"This year, too, is not of celebration as many of them are suffering financially or physically. Many even lost their close ones and in such a situation, we can't celebrate. If all is well, next year we will go ahead with a big procession waiving away all the negativity," added Damle.