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Lockdown: Devotees urge temple priests from home to perform Navratri puja for them

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

The nine-day Navratri festival and the Hindu New Year on Wednesday began amidst a 21-day coronavirus lockdown in the country with many people preferring to perform the rituals from their homes by sending names and other details to the priest to do the puja on their behalf.

Acharya Suresh Mani Shastri, the priest of Gokhle Marg temple, said he alone did the Navratri puja this morning, with with even regular visitors sending their details on phone to do the puja for them.

"We have to follow the instructions in such trying times and perform the rituals without harming the interest of the society," Acharya Shastri said.

The scene was similar in other temples of the state capital with priests performing the 'kalash sthapna' on the first day of the festival.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had urged people to stay home to break the chain of virus transmission and citizens appeared to adhere to the appeal, even in celebrating festivals.

The local markets too were bereft of the usual hustle and bustle common during this period; stalls and shops selling photos and idols of deities, garlands, banners and other puja articles were missing.

"We have to follow the authorities in the interest and health of all. If everyone remains fine and healthy we will put up a bigger shop next time," a shopkeeper said.

Amidst complaints about disruption of milk supply on the first day of fasting, the district administration issued passes to all shops selling milk and gave instructions to officials to not stop vehicles carrying milk.

Lucknow Commissioner Mukesh Meshram said all shops seeling milk will remain open from Thursday and orders have been issued to allow local dairy owners to continue supply milk.

Efforts are to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential goods, he said, adding bread and biscuit bakery workers were being issued special passes by the administration.

Ration shops and departmental stores are allowed to open with strict instructions to avoid crowding. Newspaper delivery agents have been allowed to work after Indira Nagar, Gudamba, Vikas Nagar, Sitapur Road Nirala Nagar residents complained they did not receive newspapers on Wednesday.

"Things will be normal from Thursday," the commissioner said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 17:38 IST
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