Pune: The wari has been attracting a growing urban population every year and many urban faces are becoming part of the wari from Dehu and Alandi to Pandharpur.
Earlier, the palkhi processions were dominated by people from rural areas, but now-a-days many urban dwellers too want to experience walking along with the palkhis. Some citizens are walking only for a day or two with the wari and those who can afford more days are completing the whole wari.
A regular warkari, Ramesh Pawar, said he has been walking in the wari for 15 years and feels that many people from Pune, Mumbai and other cities are joining in the wari.
Pawar further said these people from urban areas are walking in various stages between Dehu to Pune or Pune to Saswad. These people ask questions and try to get into a dialogue with warkaris, which is a good sign.
Anil Vaidya from Sahakar Nagar said he has been walking at least two stages with the wari, mainly from Saswad to the next stage for the last three years. Vaidya said he is part of a group of 10 people and their group is increasing every year.
“Many people from our group are willing to walk for more days, but as there is no proper arrangement for stay, they prefer to walk only two stages and return to Pune,” he added. Many government officers also walk with the wari.
One of the reasons for the increase in urban dwellers walking with the wari is that a lot of old people from rural areas have migrated to cities and have settled down there. They have an attachment with the wari and considering this, their family members too are willing to walk with the wari.