For the past nine days of Navratri, devotees entering the Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi were welcomed by a group of women, who enthusiastically distributed pamphlets and discussed statistics on the country’s declining girl child population.
The women, part of the Shree Siddhivinayak Temple Trust, prayed to Goddess Durga by promoting the Save The Girl Child campaign.
“Devi is a symbol of womanhood. What is the point in celebrating the festival and bowing down to Devi without protecting the women in our society?” asked Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar, ex-mayor of the city, who is a member of the temple trust.
As part of the campaign, women spread awareness about the issue of the dwindling female population in the country by individually talking to the devotees and distributing pamphlets to them.
“There are thousands of devotees who visit the temple daily to seek the deity’s blessings. By drawing attention to the social cause, keeping the significance of the festival in the backdrop, we tried to reach out to both men and women,” Samant said. “This year, the sex ratio in the state has dipped to 883 for 1000 men, as against 926 for 1000 men a decade ago.”