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Navratri: Gujarat govt allows for prasad distribution in packets

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The state cabinet in a meeting held on Wednesday has decided to allow distribution of prasad during public worship events in Navratri. 

Earlier the Gujarat government had while announcing the guidelines for Navratri and other festivals allowed for holding public aarti (worship) but the distribution of prasad or offerings were banned. 

Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said the state has now allowed for the distribution of prasad provided they are in packed form. He said necessary changes to the SOP for the same has also been made. 

He also clarified that the state has not asked any temple to shut down during the festival. Although the ban on public and Sheri Garbas remain.

With the government allowing for the distribution of prasad in packets, it will help sweetshop owners in the state who get substantial business from temples and other events where aarti is organized on a large scale during Navratri.

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What state had said about Navratri earlier

The Gujarat government on October 9 announced the guidelines for the festivals of Navratri, Diwali and Dussehra. The state clarified that no public Garba or Sheri Garba will be allowed. 

It, however, allowed the worship of idols in public places but the idols or pictures of the goddess cannot be touched nor will the distribution of prasad be allowed. 

Even when worship in public places was allowed, the organisers will have to take permission from the local administration for the same.

Also, the programmes cannot be more than an hour long.

The Navratri guidelines in a nutshell

  • No public Garba celebrations will be allowed across the state
  • Idols and photos can be placed in open plots for puja during Navratri
  • There is a ban on touching such idols and photos that are placed in public for worship
  • Requisite permission from the local administration needs to be taken for such public worship
  • Not more than 200 people will be allowed at such places
  • Those who attend public worship will have to maintain a 6ft distance from each other
  • Senior citizens over 65, children below 10 years of age, pregnant women and those suffering from ailments are warned not to attend such events
  • Only 100 people will be allowed at wedding, funerals and other such events.

 

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