DURGA PUJA CELEBRATION UNCERTAIN
GUWAHATI: Durga Puja is from the second week of October. The celebration is quite uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The situation is no different for the mobile theatre industry either. Abahan, Bhagyadevi and a few other mobile theatres have started their rehearsal. However, the producers are now hopeful that the government will allow mobile theatre shows as it has already allowed rehearsal.
During the first wave of the COVID-19 in 2020, the Durga Puja celebrations continued with limited gatherings till 9 pm. The state administration did not allow mobile theatre shows in 2020. That led the artistes to face an acute cash crunch. It will affect the artistes if the government does not allow mobile theatre shows this year after rehearsal, feel the producers.
When asked on the Durga Puja, State Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said, "We cannot say anything with certainty right now. It depends on the COVID-19 situation. We appeal to the people of the State to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour. If the COVID graph in the State goes upward again, we will have to opt for stringent restrictions."
Talking to The Sentinel, Abahan Theatre producer-cum-actress Prastuti Parasor said, "We have started rehearsal with limited artistes from September 1 following the COVID-19 protocol. We don't allow anyone without taking vaccines to enter our campus. Many technical people and artistes associated with mobile theatres had to face an acute financial crisis last year due to the restrictions on mobile theatres. We are hopeful that the government will allow mobile theatre shows this year. The government has allowed rehearsal of mobile theatres."