Patna: The outbreak of COVID-19 has not only hit the economy severely, it has also affected the social life as hundreds of families have been forced to postpone weddings and other social functions. People have stopped visiting each other as they observe social distancing. Children have been restricted from playing with their friends or step outside their home; elderly, too, have remained indoors despite loneliness. More than 500 temples have been shut and a large number of Muslims are praying at homes instead of mosques.
Interestingly, amid the COVID-19 scare, the family of a bride from Bihar’s Kaimur district has agreed to the proposal by the groom’s family from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh to go for a unique online marriage. Both the families have decided to solemnise the wedding through video conferencing with no social gathering.
“We have decided to perform nikah online in view of the lockdown as the groom's family was not given permission to bring the marriage party (barat) from Allahabad to Kaimur,” said Mushtaque Ahmad, father of the bride.
In another case, family of Arshi Shahin, senior deputy collector in Siwan district, has postponed her wedding with Md Imran, senior deputy collector in Barh subdivision in Patna. They were set to solemnise their wedding at a hotel on March 25. “It will discourage social gathering and help observe social distancing,” said Arshi.
She said that as both of them have administrative jobs, “it was their duty to encourage and promote social distancing”.
In a similar case, the wedding of Nazish Perween with Mahmudul Khan was also postponed owing to the prevailing crisis. “Our preparation was done for the wedding on March 29; everything was ready. The wedding cards were distributed last week. Several relatives have already arrived from Delhi, Ranchi and other places. By postponing the wedding, the family is bearing a huge loss,” said Hazish’s maternal uncle Mazhar Khan from Aurangabad district of Bihar.
Most of the sit-in protests against CAA-NRC-NPR have also been temporarily called off across Bihar. Till last week, these protests were continuing at more than 90 places in the state.
After the first death from coronavirus and two positive cases were reported in Bihar on Sunday, the state government announced a lockdown till March 31 to contain the spread of the disease. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the lockdown is being enforced in all districts, sub-divisional and block headquarters and municipal towns. Following this decision, roads in urban as well as in rural areas across the state wore a deserted look with shops, markets and private organisations closed. The police have also seized more than 500 vehicles including auto-rickshaws, four wheelers and two wheelers for violation of lockdown in the state.