Mumbai Santa spreads cheers, masks and sanitizers

Ashok Kurmi, president of a social organization Sion Friend Circle Foundation, donned the Santa Claus suit and distributed masks, sanitized the buses and autorickshaws, and drew signs on the ground for social distancing practice.

Kurmi said he used to celebrate Christmas every year by distributing toys, chocolates and gifts to children but this year, he decided to use the Santa Claus as a theme to generate awareness to halt the spread of the disease in the city that is dealing with over 71,000 active cases.

Christians form less than three percent of India's more than 1.3 billion population but Christmas is widely celebrated in metros and other big cities with much pomp, fervor and devotion.