Mrunal Manmay Dash

With the holy month of Kartika beginning tomorrow, the pilgrim town of Puri will witness thousands of religious widows observing month-long ‘habisha’ brata.

Keeping this in mind, the Puri administration held a meeting with all the stakeholders on Friday apprising them about the State government’s Habisyali Brata Yojana.

As per the Puri administration, 3050 habisyalis have registered to avail the scheme till now. Out of which 950 have registered from Khordha, 875 from Puri, 385 from Ganjam and 310 persons have registered from Nayagarh district.

As per the decision taken in the meeting, there will be five habisyali centres in Puri. About 1650 habisyalis will be accommodated at Brundabati Niwas, 580 in Mochisahi Kalyan Mandap, 450 in Akshaya Patra foundation, 150 in Bagala Dharmashala and 180 habisyalis will be sheltered in Bagedia dharmashala in Puri.

Speaking to the press, Puri Additional Collector Pradeep Sahu said, “We have divided all the 3050 habisyalis registered till now in five locations of Puri. The Collector has appointed senior officials as nodal officers for each habisyali centre in Puri.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the scheme was launched in 2018 by the Odisha government to facilitate Habisyalis to perform their rituals in a hassle-free manner.

As Kartik month is considered to be one of the most auspicious months in the Hindu calendar, women especially Habisyalis keep a special brata and eat only once a day for the whole month.

During habisha, they hold sannkalpa every day. According to the Sankalpa rituals, women need to follow certain rules. Those who observe Kartika Brata, take a holy dip in Mahodadhi, worship Mahaprabhu and have the Mahaprasad. It is believed that by doing so, they come closer to Lord Jagannath.

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