Several Navratri mandals in the city are going out of their way to spread cheer among those who usually don’t get to be part of the festival revelry. These mandals have organised special garba events for senior citizens, disabled and poor people to make them feel special.
For instance, 200 young girls and women from the slums of Prabhadevi and Worli will get a chance to let their hair down at a private garba organised by the Akshara Women’s Resource Centre on Friday.
The NGO has been working these victims of domestic and sexual violence for the last 14 years to sensitise them about their rights.
“We are always talking to them about serious issues, so this year we decided to lighten the atmosphere for a day and create a platform where we can share happiness,” said Urmila Salunkhe, the programme officer at Akshara.
In Powai, the Tejaswini Mahila Sanstha has decided to make their nine-day Navratri festival an inclusive affair by inviting members of the local MBA Foundation, a day-care healing centre for people with various disabilities. At least 25 disabled individuals came to the dandiya event on Sunday.
According to Meenakshi Subramaniam, chief of the foundation, it is important for healthy people to remember their disabled friends in times of celebration.
“It takes courage to encourage our inmates to dance. But, I am grateful that people considered them equal and danced with them,” she said.