Hundreds of men at a village in western Uttar Pradesh’s Jalaun gathered to celebrate “Latth Maar Diwali” today with sticks, canes. In a video shared on social media, men – mostly in their 30s and 40s – are seen dancing to the beats of dhol with sticks and canes in their hands. A few children accompany the grown-ups.
However, despite the government’s and experts’ Covid warnings, none is seen wearing a mask. The small area, tightly packed with men celebrating this Bundelkhand tradition, has no room for social distancing.
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Two groups of men are seen dancing around in two separate circles with one even hoisting a man on his shoulders as bystanders watch. As the music gains tempo, the two groups start fighting with their canes – in intricate choreography – to the beats.
Ahead of the festivals, the Centre had issued an advisory urging all the states to ensure Coronavirus precautions are followed strictly during the festive season. The advisory listed a host of measures to stop infection rates from spiralling as they have in some countries.
“States/UTs are further requested to ensure that non-adherence to COVID Appropriate behaviour in public places is dealt with strongly. Inter-sectoral collaboration between health departments, law enforcement agencies, market and trade associations, civil society organizations, and community will be essential to curb any risk of a spike in COVID-19 trajectory,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said in a letter to the states.