At least 1,600 wedding ceremonies have been postponed in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow as India remains under lockdown till May 3 to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Many businesses which cater to weddings in the city have been affected due to the lockdown and they are living in constant fear with no end to uncertainty.
28-year-old Hemant Pathak, who works in a private company, had made all the arrangements for his wedding on April 25.
Cards were also distributed to family, friends and a grand celebration was planned. However, due to the nationwide lockdown, his wedding was postponed.
“As responsible citizens, we all must contribute and support India’s battle against the coronavirus. The wedding was impossible for me without gathering, but we have to remain indoor and maintain social distancing for now,” Pathak said.
“Therefore, I decided to postpone my wedding till the end of this year. It is disappointing since all the arrangements were made but presently our priority should be to follow all the orders issued by the government,” Pathak told India Today TV.
Other family members also said that staying at home is extremely important and they had no other option but to postpone the wedding.
“I saw on TV how lockdown rules were brazenly flouted at the wedding function of former Karnataka CM’s son. This has sent a very wrong message,” said Pathak’s father Vidyasagar.
“We are also disappointed because the wedding in our family cannot take place but how can we allow the crowd to gather during the pandemic?” He questioned.
“Prime Minister is also urging the people to remain indoor. This is for our safety.”
Pathak’s mother was equally excited about the wedding and said all the shopping was done but added that the marriage cannot happen during the lockdown.
“The marriage venues are also shut due to the lockdown and weddings cannot take place till the restrictions continue.”
The daughter of Gopal Dutt Garwal was also scheduled to tie the knot on April 16 but it was postponed due to the lockdown. Garwal, who works at the pollution control board department, worked tirelessly along with his wife to prepare for their daughter’s wedding.
However, the nationwide lockdown left them with no choice but to postpone their daughter’s wedding.
“My daughter works at a private company in Noida. Her marriage date was April 16, which we have decided to postpone. Postponing marriage is disappointing for us because the venue and all other arrangements were made,” Garwal said.
“Maximum wedding cards were also distributed. Now we can only hope that the situation in our country improves and everything is back to normal,” he added.
“Our primary duty at present should be to follow the lockdown orders. It will be difficult for us to make all the arrangements again but there is no other option.”
His wife Kamla said, ”We are very disappointed because the preparations for the wedding started last year. However, it is necessary to follow lockdown for now and remain indoor. We are rescheduling the wedding plan.”
In Lucknow, more than 1,600 weddings including engagement ceremonies have been postponed, showed estimates from registered bookings at hotels, banquet halls, marriage lawns and community centers. The postponement has also impacted the employment of people like staff members in marriage lawns and halls, hotels, tailors, band workers and tent houses, who eagerly wait for lockdown situation to cool down soon.
Tarun Sawhney, the president of Awadh Catering Association confirmed that 1,600 weddings/engagement parties have been postponed while some have opted for complete cancellation.
“Now the wedding season will begin from November and there are less auspicious days. Most of the people who have postponed the weddings want to reschedule it to November and December. However, most of the hotels, banquet halls and marriage lawns already have booking for the next wedding season. Therefore there is a lot of uncertainty and even the winter weddings will be affected,” Sawhney said.
“The staff in many hotels and banquets have left for their native places. Lakhs of people are associated with the marriage industry and they have no source of income this season. Therefore, the impact of the lockdown in our sector is huge. Our industry is facing an unprecedented crisis,” he added.
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