The pious festival of 9 nights - “Navratri” embraces diverse festivities from fasting to feasting. Further, it involves meditating upon the divine feminine energy and seek spiritual cleansing and enlightenment. However, the birth of the personification of that divine feminine is not welcomed and rather objected in the form of female feticide. The nightmare of Navratri sans women dignity seems appalling. The society continues to kill female fetuses wearing the mask of hypocrisy, worshipping girl children during 9 days of the festival. Santulan (Gender Equality Program, Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan) believes in reinstating and celebrating the true Indian version of exalted womanhood with mass sensitizing initiatives to make women realize their Shakti within by celebrating 9 days of the festival.
In every woman, lies a Durga. The need is to understand that only bowing down in front of their idols will not relieve them of their miseries. In the aforesaid pretext, Santulan organizes awareness generating exhibitions in the Durga temples during 9 days of navratri festival. As the temples observe comparatively higher footfall during Navratri, zealous volunteers of Santulan at the awareness desk leave no stone unturned to reach out to every visitor and enlighten them in gender perspective.
These awareness drives adorned with thought provoking posters on Santulan’s gender just ideology, myths and misconceptions against women and informative gender based quotes. A number of engaging activities are organized at the counters to measure the nature and extent of gender disparity and to sensitize the gender discriminators; thus denouncing practice of sex selective abortions.
The festival recalls the educative tale of the demon Mahishasura who wreaked havoc on the earth after getting endowed with power that he received as a boon from Lord Shiva, whereby no one could end his life. Troubled by such an outcome, Durga, the incarnation of Adi Shakti (divine feminine energy) was invoked, who waged a nine day-long battle against the near-invincible demon.
An endeavor to awaken the same benign power dormant within, imbibing women with their spiritual energy and power is being made all over through these information desks and awareness exhibitions, by Santulan!