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Durga Puja Festival being used to empower women in Vadodara and Surat

Vadodara/Surat, Sept.22 (ANI): In a bid to empower women, the Government of Gujarat has provided free stalls for the sale of handmade items and goods to them at Navratri Festival venues during the nine-day celebrations to honour the Goddess Durga.

Vadodara District Magistrate Avantika Singh said, “Women who make dresses and decoration items for festivals, this is a scheme to provide them an outlet to sell these items. In the past a similar thing was done under the guidance of the chief minister for Rakhi festival.”

The idea to empower the women and make them financially independent was a brain-child of the state’s first woman Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, a strong advocate of the cause of women empowerment.

Surat’s Mayor Niranjan Zanzmera said, “Women from self help groups and others come and sell their merchandise here. Whatever money they make they keep it with themselves; they do not have to give it to the government.”

Over the weekend, women decorated their colourful stalls and were seen selling traditional festival dresses and jewellery besides other handmade items.

The Navratri Festival is a period of joy and celebrations for devout Hindus across India. It is dedicated to the Goddess Durga, a manifestation of the Mother Goddess in Hindu mythology. It is believed that during Navratri, Goddess Durga descends on earth to rid it of demons and bless her devotees with happiness and prosperity.

After fasting during the day, there are celebrations during the nights.

The nine-day festival of Navaratri culminates in the festival of Dussera, which falls on the tenth day.

As per Hindu mythology, the day signifies the slaying of the demon king Ravana by Lord Rama, the King of Ayodhya.

During Navratri, the nine forms of the Devi or the Divine Mother are worshipped and it represents celebration of Goddess Durga.

It involves fasting, dances, prayers, worship and is a period of introspection and purification. (ANI)