Staff Reporter

It is meant for the wellbeing of their husbands

They are allowed to have their husbands by the side during the ritual

Women observing Savitri vrat break fast after seeing their husbands

BERHAMPUR: Married women prisoners of Orissa observed ‘Savitri Vrat’, a day of penance, for the well being of their husbands in the jails on Sunday.

As part of the jail reform programme the jail authorities helped these women to observe ‘Savitri Vrat’ in the jails. The day is observed by married women of Orissa for long life of husbands.

Officials’ gesture

It is believed that on this day Savitri had been able to get back her husband Satyaban’s life from the clutches of Lord Yama, the god of death.

Out of the 29 women prisoners in the Berhampur circle jail, 15 married ones observed this vrat. Senior Superintendent of the circle jail Bankim Charan Mohanty said they had provided new clothes and other items needed for the rituals for the inmates.

The women prisoners performed the ritual under tight security at the Mahavir temple on the jail campus.

Three women prisoners also had their husbands inside the same jail as prisoners. They were lucky to have their husbands with them while they performed the rituals inside the jail. Among them were S. Pradhan serving life sentence in a murder case, who has never forgotten to observe this vrat for her husband. The jail officials allowed other women prisoners to hold telephonic talk with their husbands. Several women who have their husbands lodged in the jail also turned up to meet their husbands. Usually women observing Savitri Vrat break their fast after seeing their husbands. Mr Mohanty said such celebration was allowed in all the jails in south Orissa, which are under his jurisdiction.

Reports of ’Savitri vrat’ being observed by married women prisoners have also come from jails in Puri, Balasore, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.