Bhubaneswar: After dampening festivals like Rath Yatra, it seems the ongoing Covid pandemic will also play spoilsport on the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan, the day that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters.
As Odisha continues to add new Corona cases by over a thousand daily and experts suggesting a further spike in coming days, it is believed that the government may not allow usual celebrations of the Rakhi Purnima due to curbs like social distancing, lockdowns and shutdowns.
Rakhi vendors even though are wary of the situation are hopeful that they may be able to do a bit of business if the government allows some relaxations.
"We expect Rakhi Purnima may lack its usual vibrancy due to Coronavirus. But we are making all arrangements to ensure proper sanitisation and social distancing while selling rakhis," said a vendor in Khurda.
"Though it is for everyone's safety when we hear people saying that they will not celebrate this year's Raksha Bandhan due to the pandemic, it makes us worry as to how we will sustain our families if we lose out on this seasonal business," the vendor added.
It may be noted that Odisha government has imposed a 14-day lockdown in 4 districts - Cuttack, Khurda, Ganjam and Jajpur along with the Rourkela Municipal Corporation area till July 31. Similarly, some other districts have also been partially or fully placed under shutdown till the month-end in view of the rise in virus cases.
Since Raksha Bandhan is falling on August 3, it is also expected that if the State government eases some restrictions after July 31, people can at least buy rakhis for their loved ones in the next one or two days therafter," said another vendor in Jatni market.
Meanwhile, amid concerns over Raksha Bandhan celebrations, a new trend is also picking up. Many people observing that rakhi, the thread of love is only a symbolic way to celebrate, but the bond between a brother and sister is beyond, are ready to adopt digital rakhis for the purpose.
(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)