Amid COVID-19, women observe ‘Savitri vrat’ in Odisha’s Ganjam district

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Even while staying under shroud of COVID-19 in institutional quarantine in Odisha’s Ganjam district, married women did not forget to observe Savitri Vrat on Friday for well being and long life of their husbands.

Local sarpanchs and officials involved in management of the Temporary Medical Centres (TMCs) housing returnees from outside the State for 21 days quarantine, arranged new sarees, bangles, fruits, sindur and other items needed for Savitri Vrat rituals for these women. Distribution of these items had started from Thursday.

It was an effort to boost mood and morale of these women who are mostly wives of returned migrant workers. They have already suffered a lot during their returned journey along with their husbands and children. After return they had to undergo 21 days institutional quarantine that will be followed by seven day home quarantine.

Observing social distance and other precautions like wearing of masks, these married women in quarantine centres performed the puja of Savitri Vrat for their husbands. At end of rituals they offered pranam to their husbands from a distance. In most cases their husbands are staying separately in the same quarantine centre.

As per reports, Hinjli municipality authorities and Block Development Officer (BDO) arranged all necessary items for Savitri Vrat for around 90 married women staying in quarantine centres of the area. Priests and other assistance were provided at quarantine centres for safe observation of Savitri Vrat by the married women. In Khallikote similar arrangement was made for around 420 married women in institutional quarantine.

Three women performed Savitri Vrat at the Padmanabhpur TMC operating at a Girls’ High School in Digapahandi block. They were provided new sarees and other items for rituals by the local panchayat body. At Gokarneswar TMC, 13 married women could perform Savitri Vrat due to support and assistance of localites and sarpanch. In institutional quarantine centres in Shergarh block, 15 women were reported to have performed Savitri Vrat with new clothes and other puja items provided by their respective panchayat bodies. Similar reports of of Savitri Vrat have come from all TMCs in Ganjam district where married women are in institutional quarantine of 21 days.

Over 55,000 migrant workers have already returned back to Ganjam district from outside Odisha to stay in institutional quarantine for 21 days. Out of over 322 COVID-19 positive cases reported from the district till Friday afternoon, most are from TMCs serving as quarantine centres for returnees from outside Odisha.

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