‘Kanya Puja’ is an integral part of Devi Durga Puja and perhaps this auspicious puja was originally initiated in order to give girls due social status in the male dominated Indian social fabric. Nine young girls are venerated on this day, signifying the nine forms of Goddess Durga. The young girls symbolize purity on account of their innocence and stand for feminine power in its purest form.
‘Kanya Puja’ is a significant ritual during Navratri and Durga Puja, which is held during the most important days of Navratri i.e. Ashtami (on eighth day) and Navmi(on ninth day). This ritual involves worshiping girls aged between 6 and 12, symbolizing the Kanya Kumari.
But now-a-days, finding young girls for ‘Kanya Puja’ is like impossible tasks for those who want take them at home on Ashtami. People can easily be seen picking and dropping girls in their cars for Kanya Puja.
The reason behind this is that the girls are very rare to found in our society where most of the people prefer female foeticide. In Indian society, where more importance is given to male child that has negative impact on gender ratio of the society, nobody wants to give birth to a girl child. People only get to know the importance of a girl child on the day of ‘Ashtami and ‘Navmi’ and at the same time, it’s very rare to find women getting respect from men, which shoes that they will only be given respect on the day of ‘Ashtami’ and ‘Navmi.’
Importantly, the effect of female foeticide is clearly seen on the day of Ashtami when people run after girls (kanya) to take them to their home for Kanya Puja.
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