Navratri celebration sober due to swine flu in Pune

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Pune, Sep 20 (ANI): The nine-day festival Navratri is being celebrated as a low-key affair in the swine flu hit Pune city.

Pune witnessed over 50 deaths due to the swine flu in last couple of months.

The festival which started on Saturday and is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is also known by several names such as Chamundeshwari, Parameshwari, and Mookambika among others.

Residents of Pune are celebrating the festival but with precautions. Devotees could be seen with facemasks while going to the Chatushangi Temple to offer prayers.

Unlike previous years, the festival will be rather sober with far less number of stalls selling things, including food items, knick-knacks, and various other things.

A member of the festival Organising committee Nandu Angal, said : "This year we will celebrate Navratri festival in the traditional way. Every year we allow 150 temporary stalls to be put up for amusement, food and toys.

However, these years only 10-15 stalls have been permitted at the festival site. We will celebrate the festival in the traditional spirit." (ANI)

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