New Delhi: “Marriages will continue to take place despite recession or inflation” – the dialogue from the popular Bollywood film Band Baaja Baaraat may not ring true in 2021, thanks to the myriad ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected industries across the world.
With yellow alert being sounded in Delhi amid rising COVID-19 cases, the wedding industry is staring at a bleak future.
As the Delhi government allows only 20 guests at marriage events, many are rushing to cancel the bookings, leaving the industry in the lurch.
Anil Thadani, owner of Jea Band, says, “People are cancelling weddings and asking for refunds. The workers are upset. Many weddings were planned from January 20. Only Delhi has implemented these restrictions, other states like Haryana and cities like Mumbai still allow 200 guests at weddings. How will we refund the money of people?”
He shares that a family cancelled the wedding which was to take place as recent as Thursday, when the vendors have already made all the preparations.
Amit Kedia, a resident of Karol Bagh, whose nephew’s wedding is planned for January 20, says they have cancelled a majority of the bookings, but are finding it difficult to get the money refunded. The wedding was planned at a five star hotel in Aerocity, but the family now is undecided.
“Where will the common man go? The vendors say they have made all preparations and some have put a rider saying they cannot be held responsible for last minute changes.
“Whenever there is a wedding, preparations begin well in advance with invites being sent and shopping done, but now we are left confused. We cannot get the wedding solmenised in a temple because visitors are not allowed in religious places under the yellow alert, neither can we put up a tent. We are thinking whether we should have the wedding function at home or postpone it,” he rues.
Kedia adds that they cannot even invite the families of the bride and groom under the 20-person attendance cap.
Rajeev Jain, owner of Rashi Entertainment, says the wedding industry is a responsible industry and has been following all the COVID-19 norms.
“Please do not single us out since we are the softest target. The wedding season will begin from January 19 and go on till February 21. Five star hotels follow all the precautions while hosting weddings. Their staff are tested for the virus at regular intervals and even the guests are not allowed without test reports,” Jain said.
“Instead of imposing restrictions like these, the government should tighten enforcement and make complete vaccination necessary for weddings. The vaccination certificates of guests can be checked when they arrive. We have been following all the precautions like wearing masks, maintaining hygiene, among others,” he adds.
Jain says the industry has suffered a lot since the outbreak of the pandemic and the government has not helped it in any way.
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