Despite the fact that ‘Sabitri Brata’ is traditionally marked by married women who pray and fast before the Goddess Parvati praying long lives for their husbands, members of the transgender community in Bhubaneswar have come out of the pigeonhole & gathered together to join the bandwagon on the auspicious day.
Some members of the community dressed in beautiful and colourful sarees commemorated the holy occasion in a modest manner in the Capital City, strictly adhering to Covid-19 standards.
“We got permission from the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation to conduct the festival in strict accordance with Covid-19 guidelines,” remarked Meera Parida.
“We’ve all done our Covid-19 testing before and had negative results. This year, instead of offering puja at a large temple, we are celebrating the festival in the open air. While performing the rituals, we sanitised our hands, kept social distance, and wore masks,” she added.
With puja thalis in hand, transgenders conducted all of the festival’s ceremonies and served the goddess sindur, alata, flowers, and fruits as part of the worship.
However, the transgender community’s celebration is distinct from the mainstream in one way. “The custom is observed all around the country. The transgender community celebrates Sabitri Brata and worships their Gurus. We regard our Gurus as husbands and pray to the Goddess for their long life and good health,” remarked Meghna, a well-known social worker.
“These days, kinnars are marrying and living with their husbands as well. “Married kinnars are also keeping an eye on the brata and praying for their husbands,” she explained.
Written By: Swati Sahoo