Odisha allows Marriage Processions with up to 200 persons

Keeping in view the declining COVID cases in the state, the Odisha Government has allowed marriage processions with a ceiling of 200 persons including the bride, bridegroom, priest, friends, relatives, members of band-party, light and sound system.

The administration has issued strict guidelines to the organisers including the mandatory provision of wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitisers at the venue.

PK Jena, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), in a letter to district collectors, municipal commissioners and SPs wrote, “taking into account the present situation, it has been decided by the government to allow the marriage processions subject to the ceiling on the number of participants (maximum 200)… and strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols including physical distancing.”

Parties engaged in the work of light, sound arrangements and bands are hopeful of a revival in the industry ahead of the next wedding season which begins in April. “After months of struggle, thousands of people directly or indirectly associated with the band industry had switched to other works. We welcome the decision to allow marriage processions and hope to revive our industry gradually,” said T Apparao, owner of a band.

Public celebrations were put to a halt soon after the pandemic broke out. The state government had then allowed only 50 people to gather at a wedding or other cultural event. Earlier this week the government permitted the gathering of 200 people with compulsory prerequisites like wearing masks, maintaining social distance, conducting temperature checks and using hand sanitisers.

Though people had originally suspended wedding plans because of the curbs, many are now altering their plans and are celebrating in this new manner. DJ bands, people who play Punjabi Dhol, musical bands, among others are hoping for a swift recovery in the wedding industry.

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