The global scare of Coronavirus or COVID-19 as its being termed has added another victim to its list. The iconic 'Dol Yatra' or 'Vasanta Utsav' festivities at Shantinekan's heritage Visva Bharati University have been called off in the wake of Coronavirus.
'Vasanta Utsav', locally termed 'Dol Yatra', is celebrated with immense fervour at Visva Bharati where students of different departments dressed in traditional yellow observe a long musical and dance events on Rabindranath Tagore’s songs. The university which was founded by Rabindranath Tagore has students from all over the globe as its residents and tourists from various parts of the globe come down in March to participate in the open to all celebrations.
"Don't remember the last time this event was cancelled. It was called off at the last moment due to the COVID-19 scare. Although it's a positive step by the University and we appreciate it, it somewhat feels a bit melancholic not to celebrate Dol the way we do every year", said an ashramite from the university.
Not only festivities but Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan in Bolpur city has also temporarily closed ‘Santiniketan Griha’, ‘Upasana Griha’, museum and ‘Bangladesh Bhawan’ as they are mostly visited by foreign tourists and the footfall at this time is massive.
"We have had cancellations in the last moment this time. People are not coming due to the spread and most importantly the cancellation of Basanta Utsav. A lot of bookings come from European countries as well and from Kolkata too. This has certainly hit our business," said a resort manager in Bolpur, the adjoining town to Shantinekan.
The 'Dol Yatra' was started by Tagore himself and is a major tourist attraction in Santiniketan as tourists from all over the world make a beeline to be a part of this grand event but Covid 19 scare has also hit the town's tourism business. The university town which has a huge tourist attraction from all over has tourism thriving its economy. Apart from Dol Yatra, 'Poush Mela' in the month of December attracts massive footfall.