Jains call-off Mahavir Jayanti celebration as member tested +Ve for COVID-19

Hyderabad: Panic gripped the minority Jain community in Hyderabad after a person from their community tested positive for COVID-19. After the news broke out, Jains have decided not to gather on 6 April to celebrate Mahavir Jayanti and instead just celebrate at their homes.

While the health bulletin released by the Telangana health ministry said the man had recently returned from London, members of the Jain community said he had returned from Dubai. Kishore Mutta, a member of the community, said, “We came to know this morning that a man from our community has tested positive for Coronavirus. He and his family are kept in the isolation ward at Gandhi Hospital. It is being said that he had returned from Dubai where he might have got infected.”

A person close to the family said the man and his wife had visited Dubai and after their return, they stayed near the Bible House. Both had gone to visit their daughter and stayed in Dubai for 15 days and returned on 18 March. While it is being reported that the man is from Shamsher Gunj, the president of the Hyderabad Jain Community, Vinod Kimtee, said, “While their old house is in Samsher Gunj they had recently moved to Secunderabad. They were staying with their son and daughter-in-law in India.”

The Jain community, which roughly has a population of 50,000 in Hyderabad, is a small group and everyone knows everyone. Mr Mutta said, “Though I don’t know the family personally I have heard that they were one of the oldest members of the community.”

As of now, Jains have been advised not to go to the Old City or meet anyone else for a few days.“We think around 50 people will gather to celebrate the festival. Others will celebrate at their homes or temples nearby,” said a member of the community.

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter. A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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