Bhubaneswar: As the holy month Kartik began from today, as many as 2000 habisyalis (Women devotees who observe Kartik brata in Puri) will get free accommodation, Mahaprasad and health care under Kartik Habis Brata Yojana.
Aimed at facilitating free lodging, health care and food for the Hindu widows during the holy month, the Odisha government unveiled ‘Kartik Habis Brata Yojana’ on Saturday. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched the programme at Secretariat via video conference.
“Kartik Habis Brata Yojana was launched today. For the people especially the women who go to Puri, the State government has launched the programme to provide accommodation, health care and Mahaprasad sevan free of cost to the 2,000 women during this month”, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said.
He further informed that the scheme has been planned for 2,000 beneficiaries this year. However, the government plans to accommodate even more beneficiaries next year onwards.
Arrangement has been made for 2,000 ‘Habisiali’ (mostly older women devotees). They will be given lodging facilities besides safe drinking water, food, health, sanitation and other basic facilities. The home guards will guard the accommodation centres round the clock.
The lodging arrangements have been made at Kalyan mandap, Mochi Sahi, Bagala Dharmasala and Narendra Kona where temporary shelters are made.
Thousands of widows assemble at Puri to perform ‘Habisa’ (penance) as a mark of respect to Lord Jagannth during the month of Kartik.
As per the tradition, those who observe Habisa or the Kartika brata, renounce a number of vegetables such as different varieties of gourds, brinjal, a number of pulses and other leafy vegetables for the whole month.
They either partake the prasad cooked in the Jagannath temple or prepare curries out of sweet potatoes, coconut and only a few pulses are allowed to be eaten and worship Lord Vishnu and Shiva in groups through various traditions.