Small mistake could cause disaster in Dasara celebrations


Team Udayavani, Oct 10, 2020, 1:23 PM IST

Mysuru: The day of the world-famous Dasara festivities is near. The decision on how to celebrate it, however, is yet to be finalized.

Meanwhile, the spread of COVID19, which had come under control at one point in the district, has now been on the rise day by day. Over the past week, the average number of cases reported every day is between 600-1000.

A little weariness in the celebrations of the Dasara festival could endanger thousands of lives.

This year’s celebrations were decided to be conducted in a limited manner. Events will be held within the palace premises and at the Chamundi Hill. Only 2,000 will be allowed to view the ‘Jumbo Savari’ (elephant parade) and cultural performances and lamp lighting will be done in and around the palace.

But now, many local representatives are objecting to even these programs.

The warnings from them are that for the Jumbo Savari the crowds will swell to 5-6 thousand. Hence, demands are arising that the cultural events in the palace must be cancelled.

The government has not yet taken a final decision on how to conduct the festival and for that purpose, it constituted an Action Committee to recommend the event plan for the festival.

A team of experts from the Health Department has arrived in Mysuru and is working with officials and representatives to prepare a report. Based on this report, the final outline of the festival will be prepared.

There are many lessons that officials can learn from Kerala.

After the recent Onam celebrations in the neighbouring State, the number of COVID-19 cases there jumped.

In Thiruvananthapuram alone, the Test Positive Rate (TPR) has risen by 13.93% in just one month. The TPR was initially less than 2 per cent. At the beginning of July, the TPR rose by 2.66 per cent to 6-7 per cent. In mid-September, it was up to 11.4 per cent and at the end of the same month, it was 13.93 per cent.

Onam celebration, Statewide protests, and the effect of Unlock have increased the TPR tremendously. In comparison to Kerala, Mysuru has a much smaller population.

Mysuru district is seeing some protests, rallies, marches. No distances are maintained here. Unless these are stopped, COVID-19 cases could erupt in Mysuru as it did in Kerala.

This fear of a sudden increase in cases is backed by a recent event.

Last week, there was chaos when the elephants for the parade entered the palace. Ministers, MLAs and officials were seen not maintaining any distancing norms or adhering to any COVID-19 guidelines. Some were not even wearing masks.

Rohini Sindhuri, the Deputy Commissioner of the district, had successfully managed the ‘Maha Mastaka Abhishekha’ at Shravanabelagola which was attended by 5 lakh people in ten days while she was the Deputy Commissioner of Hassan District.

It will be for her and the District In-charge Minister ST Somashekhar now to take the required care, safety and precautionary measures during this year’s Dasara festival.

 

– Sathish Depur

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