Avoid rallies, big public programs on Shiv Jayanti: Maha govt

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Mumbai, Feb 11 (PTI) No processions or big gatherings should be organized on the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on February 19 in view of COVID-19 situation, guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government said on Thursday.

Shiv Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the iconic 17th century ruler, is celebrated with great fervor in the state.

But looking at the pandemic situation, the government wants simple celebrations this year.

Shivaji Maharaj was born on February 19, 1630, on the Shivneri fort in Pune district and people gather on that and other forts in large numbers on the midnight of February 18 every year, the official statement noted.

'But it is expected that Shiv Jayanti festival will be celebrated in a simple manner without coming together on a big scale to avoid the spread of COVID-19,' it said.

Processions, motorbike rallies should be avoided and cultural programs should be telecast through cable networks or online platforms instead of holding them in public, the guidelines said.

Statues or portraits of Shivaji Maharaj can be garlanded in the presence of maximum of 10 persons by observing social distancing, the government said.

Blood donation camps and programs to spread awareness about COVID-19, malaria, dengue and other diseases should be organized while observing social distancing, the guidelines advised. PTI ENM KRK KRK