Muslim girl worshipped at Kumari Puja

Standing out

Izna Ali (dressed in red) is being worshipped during the Kumari Puja ritual. Special arrangement

Breaking away from tradition, one of the gated communities in the city worshipped a girl from Muslim community during ‘Kumari Puja’ ritual, here on Tuesday.

The members of the gated community — Harmony Welfare & Cultural Association (HWCA)— claimed that 50 girls voluntarily took part in the puja. Of them, Izna Ali, a little Muslim girl, was the showstopper.

According to tradition, only Brahmin girls are worshipped as Kumaris. However, the community worshipped a girl from a different community to send a message of inclusiveness and gender equality,

“HCWA looks to organise events that break region and religion boundaries. We realise that in a country rife with gender inequalities, and the underlying nature of patriarchy, girl children often find themselves at the short end of the stick. Swami Vivekananda offered the first Kumari Puja to a Muslim boatman’s daughter in Kashmir. This paved the path to uplift the status of girl child in society and also taught us a lesson of religious tolerance,” said Mayuk Patra, management committee, Provident Harmony Apartment Owners’ Association.

“Using this platform, the HCWA also conducts philanthropic activities with local orphanages by uplifting their vocational skills and making them employment ready,” he added.

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