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The Uttar Pradesh government, headed by Yogi Adityanath, has issued instructions to all the district magistrates of the state to organize grand religious and cultural programs in the temples and Shaktipeeths of Goddess Durga during the nine days of Chaitra Navratri and Ram Navami festival starting from March 22.
In the nine-point instructions issued by the Department of Culture on March 10, all commissioners and district magistrates have been instructed to organize cultural programmes. District officers have been instructed to complete all preparations in this regard by March 21. GPS location, address, photo and contact of the temple management committee of the selected temples for the event have also been requested. Two nodal officers have also been appointed at the state level for coordination at the administrative level.
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It has been said in the issued instructions that Durga Shatshati, Devi Gaan and Devi Jagran and Jhankis will be arranged in temples and Shaktipeeths. The government will also launch a special campaign to ensure the participation of women and girls in these programmes. Details and photographs of the event will also be uploaded on the Department of Culture website.
On March 29 and 30, on the day of Ashtami and Navami, ‘Akhand Ramayana’ will be recited in large Shaktipeeths, where programs will be organized for promoting ‘human values, social values and national values’. An organizing committee will be constituted at the level of each development block, tehsil and district for these events.
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In each district of the state, a committee under the chairmanship of the Managing Director will select artists to present religious and cultural programs. People’s participation will also be ensured in these events along with public representatives. The culture department will allocate Rs 1 lakh to each district administration to pay honorarium to artists. The rest of the expenses will be paid by the district administration at its own level. On behalf of the government, it was said that notice boards should also be placed on the temple site to promote the work done to develop Shaktipeeths and temples.
Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary of the Culture Department, said that such functions were organized in temples earlier too. They had released only a memorial before Navratri to remind the district administration. Meshram said that the district administration has been instructed to coordinate with the temple committees regarding the arrangements to be made in the temple building during the nine days. The aim of such programs is to promote cultural and religious tourism among the youth.