Pune: One of the biggest cultural festivals in the country, the Pune Festival scheduled to be held from August 21 to September 1 this year, has been cancelled by the organisers in view of the current situation arising out of Covid-19 outbreak.
Hema Malini, Patron and Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of Pune Festival have informed that the installation and immersion of Pune Festival’s Ganesha will take place in a ritualistic manner. The Pune Festival, a confluence of music, dance, drama, art, vocal instruments, sports and culture, had been started by Suresh Kalmadi in 1989 and this is the first time that the festival stands cancelled in 32 years.
Hema Malini has been associated with the Pune Festival for 27 years and has presented the Ganesh Vandana and ballet every year. In 2019, Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar had inaugurated the festival in presence of eminent personalities organised at the Ganesh Kala Krida Manch. Industrialist Rahul Bajaj and veteran actor Prem Chopra were felicitated with the lifetime achievement award in the function.
A statement, informing about the cancellation of the event this year, released by the Pune Festival Committee says, “Started with the inspiration of Lokmanya Tilak, the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav reached the nook and corner of Maharashtra. Seeking inspiration from it, the Pune Festival, a confluence of music, dance, drama, art, vocal instruments, sports and culture is jointly organised by Pune Festival Committee, Puneites citizens, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, Tourism Department of government of India.”
“The Pune Festival has taken Pune city on the global tourism map. The Pune Festival being celebrated for continuously 10 days and for 31 years without break is considered to be the biggest cultural festival in India. We pray to Shree Ganesh to allay this crisis born because of the coronavirus and hope to celebrate Pune Festival with much more fervour and enthusiasm next year,” the statement reads.