By and large, citizens who stayed away from wasting water while celebrating Holi with `gulal’ on Thursday said it still felt like a festival of colours and a sense of achievement ran through societies that had put up notices urging conservation.
Yet, the festive mood prevailed with families, friends and communities.
“I enjoyed myself as I got together with my office acquaintances and other friends. We realized that Holi celebrations need not be loud or with water,“ Megh Gholap from Sadashiv Peth said.
He attributed the success to the elders of their area who were largely instrumental in deterring people from using water and that Holi, a huge community festival, was just for an hour this year.
“In the Peth areas, which is known for Holi celebrations right from 8am to 6pm, there was little use of water.People were conscious about the scarcity and the message that people in the state are struggling for every drop was not off-mark,“ Gholap added.
This consciousness was sustained across the city .Cheerful youngsters covered with gulal moved on two wheelers across the city. Many housing societies celebrated Holi with `thandai’ and music, but refrained from getting wet or emptying their water tanks.
“It was a conscious deci sion and an understanding among all residents that water should not be used. Mostly, children played Holi this year, while the elders stayed away ,“ Kothrud resident Shashank Tamhane said. Some societies put out notices asking people not to use any water on Thursday .Members of Rohan Nilay in Aundh collectively adhered to the collector’s appeal.
Vaishali Patkar, president of the Aundh Vikas Mandal, said Rohan Nilay society and a few others in Aundh used gulal. The mandal conducted a `Jal Dindi’ on Wednesday for awareness.
“The mandal’s members, mayor Prashant Jagtap, corporator Ranjana Murkute, Aundh Lions Club, Aundh Rotary Club and four schools marched from Vidyanchal School to Parihar Chowk and from Sarjaa to Seasons to raise awareness about water conservation,“ said Patkar.
But there were excep tions. “In spite of warnings in the public domain about the poor water storage in dams, I saw large amounts of water being wasted since morning in my society . We have to rely on water tankers for our daily needs, but people still chose to waste water for Holi,“ a resident of a society in Wakad, who did not want to be named, said.
Source : TOI