Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has effectively woven its Mission Shakti programme for women empowerment into the fourth ‘Deepotsav’ celebrations being held in Ayodhya on the occasion of Diwali. The state culture department has prepared a roadmap for this and has started work on it. The women artists from Uttar Pradesh and other states will dominate the celebrations in Ayodhya.
The all-women Satya Sai Ramlila troupe from Balod district of Chhattisgarh will perform on the occasion. This group not only has women performing all roles in the Ramlila, but it is the women who write, script, compose songs and direct the Ramlila. The troupe will also perform the part related to Lord Ram and his mother Kaushalya. Apart from this, Lucknow-based Kavita Tiwari will recite her poems, dedicated to Lord Ram at the Deepotsav.
“The idea is to promote women artists at such events and we are doing it. Most of the volunteers who will be involved in the lighting of diyas at the main event held on the banks of the Saryu river will be women,” said a government spokesman. Additional Chief Secretary Avanish Awasthi said, “The fourth Deepotsav will promote Mission Shakti through its cultural programmes. The theme of the celebrations will be women empowerment. Hundreds of women will showcase their talent in all the events.”
The Deepotsav celebrations that went on for five to seven days in the previous years will be held for three days this year, in view of the pandemic. Around 5.51 lakh earthen lamps will illuminate the city of Ayodhya on Deepotsav, using up an estimated 29,000 litres of oil. Nobody other than the invitees will be allowed at the Deepotsav venue, where the Governor and the Chief Minister will be present, and the event will be telecast live.
This will be the fourth Deepotsav in Ayodhya after it started in 2017. It has been given the status of a state fair. The Chief Minister is taking keen interest in the arrangements for this Deepotsav is being held after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Ram temple. The temple of Ram Janambhoomi will be illuminated with thousands of diyas, along with about 300 other religious sites, including temples, ghats and kunds.