Navratri festivities, which have always meant music, dance, Garba and dandiya nights, pandal hopping and mass gatherings, are not the same anymore. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers have decided to take to social media to ensure nobody misses out on the celebrations this year.
The Electronics spoke to puja committees around the country to find out how this new normal is changing their operations.
“In our Durga Puja pandal, we had previously accommodated more than 1 lakh people at one go on many days. But this year, it’s going to be completely different. While we cannot hold a mass gathering, we also can’t disrespect people’s sentiments,” said Sohil Ganguly, Youth President of BSS Bangiya Sanskriti Sangha, Hyderabad.
“We plan to go live on Facebook and YouTube during the main aarti and puja,” Ganguly added.
In the Capital, the scene is not much different. “Although attending everything online cannot match the enthusiasm of coming to the event, we will still try our best to keep up the spirit and take help of social media,” said Soumen Mukherjee, a member of the executive body of Sarbajanin Puja Samiti, New Delhi.
Big players have also stepped in the race to make the festival reach each and every home. Airtel’s music streaming app — Wynk Music — has launched its Navaratri Nights Concert. This concert will be streamed every day from October 17 to 25, 2020 from 7-8 pm for all Wynk Users.
Just like any real concert, the audience can request songs and talk to artists. Many notable singers like Mika Singh, Sachin Jigar, Sukriti Prakriti and Shalmali Kholgade will perform at these concerts.
Like Wynk, Rotaract Club of New Delhi will also hold Jalsa 4.0, a virtual dandiya night, on October 24, 2020, from 6 pm through Zoom.
The virtual events and workshops are not just meant to keep the festivity alive, but also to support artistes through these tough times.