A garba dance venue in Ahmedabad will do more than just celebrate Navratri this year – the organizer has decided to use the festivities for a cause and help spread awareness about the evil practice of female foeticide in the state.
The festival of Navratri is here – the colourful nine days dedicated to the worship of Hindu goddess Amba. And like every year, Gujarat is painted in the vibrant hues of festivity.
Adding to the fun, garba organizers in Ahmedabad have come up with some very creative themes and events to attract people in large numbers.
But there is one particular organizer in the Nikol locality of the city who has decided to dedicate the celebration to a cause, and to grab this chance to raise awareness during the festival.
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A garba venue organised by Poonam Panchani will focus on campaigning against female foeticide throughout the nine days of Navratri. Poonam, who is also the vice-president of Sadvichar Vikas Sangh, a city-based NGO that works to save the girl child, thinks it is everyone’s duty to help abolish this evil practice. And what better opportunity than this when people get together in large numbers to pray, celebrate and have a good time together.
Garba, a form of dance that originated from the state of Gujarat, is traditionally performed around a centrally lit lamp or an image of the goddess. This year, Poonam wants to ensure that all participants help spread awareness about female foeticide in the state that has a skewed sex ratio. According to a Times of India report, Gujarat has 919 women per 1,000 men and only 886 girls per 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group.
Poonam feels that people will be inspired when they see parents participating in garba with their daughters. Also, at the end of each performance, teams and/or individuals will make an appeal to the crowd to protect and nurture the girl child.
The event will also have Gujarati actors like Sanjay Morya and Preyasi Nayak talking to people about respecting the girl child. Parents with a single girl child will be felicitated as well.