Navratri in time of coronavirus: No 'Kanya Pujan' for many Delhi families

The coronavirus outbreak has forced many families across Delhi to refrain from observing the Navratri ritual of 'Kanya Pujan', worshipping of nine girls on the eighth or ninth day of the fasting period, and they instead chose to donate funds to help the government fight the pandemic.

Yogita S.
Published on: 2 April 2020 10:33 AM GMT
Navratri in time of coronavirus: No Kanya Pujan for many Delhi families
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Navratri in time of coronavirus: No 'Kanya Pujan' for many Delhi families
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New Delhi: The coronavirus outbreak has forced many families across Delhi to refrain from observing the Navratri ritual of 'Kanya Pujan', worshipping of nine girls on the eighth or ninth day of the fasting period, and they instead chose to donate funds to help the government fight the pandemic.

They said this was done to maintain physical distance and avoid putting the girls in unnecessary risk.

Shalini Singh, a resident of Jangpura in southeast Delhi, said she asked her neighbours to avoid the ritual and instead donate ration to the nearby gurdwara which has been providing free food to the needy and homeless.

"I worship nine girls on the ninth day of every Navratri. This time, my family could not invite the girls to our house due to the coronavirus threat. Many families from our area donated money to the nearby gurdwara to help it serve langar (free food) to the needy," she said.

Anita Joshi, 29, a resident of Bhogal, said many families in her locality pooled in money and donated it to the PM CARES FUND to support the country's fight against the contagion.

"It did not seem a good decision to invite the girls to worship them or visit their homes considering these circumstances. Instead, people in our locality decided to collect funds online and donate it to the prime minister's fund," she said.

Neha Saini, a resident of Malviya Nagar, said she did not want to risk the lives of the girls. "We kept it simple, made halwa and offered prayers to Maa Durga."

"If not this time, we will do 'Kanya Pujan' during the next Navratri. Safety of girls is paramount. Even the goddess knows these are unprecedented times," said Shivam Shankar from Patparganj, adding he donated ration to a nearby MCD school where the poor are being provided free food and shelter.

Thousands of workers, daily wagers, and homeless people need help in these tough times. The government needs support to tide over the crisis, Nihaal Gupta, who lives in Karkardooma, said.

"So, I thought it is better we perform a symbolic pujan with just our daughter and donate money to the chief minister's relief fund," he said.

The United Action Joint Residents of Delhi, an umbrella organisation of resident welfare associations in the national capital, had earlier urged all RWAs to ask people to donate money to the prime minister's relief fund on the occasion of Navratri.

The deadly COVID-19 has claimed two lives and infected 152 people in the national capital.

After the Centre announced a 21-day lockdown to contain the sprfead of coronavirus, the Delhi government asked 250 night shelters and 2,500 schools to proved food to the needy, migrant workers, daily wagers and homeless people.

Gurdwaras under the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee have also been providing free langar to the lockdown-hit poor people and dry ration to people living in the slums.

PTI

Yogita S.

Yogita S.

Media Graduate, News Editor and PR Enthusiast.

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