Navratri: The festival of lights, food and giving

Navaratri or Navaratra is the most-awaited and auspicious nine-day festival for paying respect to Goddess Durga. People celebrate and worship her nine forms on these days as each day is linked with an incarnation of the goddess.

Across India, the festival is celebrated by decorating homes and offices with diyas, rangolis, flowers and lights. The period culminates with Dashami (the tenth day of Navaratri)—also called Dussehra or Vijayadashami—marking the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura and of Lord Rama over Ravana.

Additionally, as Navaratri means ‘nine nights’, it is considered a duration of happiness after a hectic year, just like a peaceful night after a day of intense work. Thus, people observe fast, eat healthy and practice peace and contentment for these nine days. By Vijayadashami, members of Indian families dispersed all across the world, meet up over lavish meals, dance, lights and lots of fun.

In Gujarat, the festival is observed by doing the Garba and Dandiya folk dances. While in West Bengal, Devi Durga is venerated with grandiose and vigour.

No matter the differences in customs, the core value of the festival is the victory of good over evil.

Among the many ways of helping the needy, feeding them can be extremely beneficial for them. Once they are healthy, they can focus on improving other aspects of their lives. Children can continue their education while elders can work efficiently to improve their financial situation.

Celebrate with acts of kindness
A common practice during this time is donating to charity. People express gratitude for the health and wealth they received, by sharing it with those who are not as privileged—be it in the form of food, money, clothes, stationery or other articles. It is indeed the best way to multiply the goodness and divinity of Navratri.

Therefore, donating food to the underprivileged can significantly elevate the lifestyles of low-income families, develop communities and increase their earning potential, eventually benefitting the Indian economy.

Feed the hungry children
Across the world and in India, we have several registered NGOs for hunger elimination. They welcome generous donors who wish to donate and feed those in need. Akshaya Patra is one such trusted NGO in India, serving cooked meals to the underprivileged through its 65 kitchens across 14 states and 2 Union Territories.

Although it has been running several programmes for underprivileged communities, one of its flagship programmes is the Mid-Day Meal Programme that supports the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan for children of Government schools. It currently feeds 2 million children across India every day!

Today, many schools report that serving mid-day meals has increased enrolment and attendance rates, even among girls. They say children are now more active and can concentrate better during classes.

Meet the graceful mid-day meal beneficiary – Kajal

This Navratri, make an online donation to help children like Kajal leap towards their aspirations without worrying about food. Feed the hungry children with Akshaya Patra and attain divine blessings this Navratri along with a 50% tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

Happy Dussehra!

Tags : Celebrate Navaratri with Akshaya Patra ChildrenDonate to feed the needyNavaratri 2022

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