Mentally ill women in Bhubaneswar celebrate 'Diwali'

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 27 : Inmates of 'Mission Ashra', a home for abandonednd homeless mentally ill women here on Sunday celebrated festival of lights 'Diwali' with great enthusiasm.

The entire campus was illuminated with earthen oil lamps, candles and electric lights.

Inmates burst crackers and watched a cultural programme wherein small girls performed traditional dances.

"We burnt crackers and lighted earthen oil lamps. I felt nice," said Sushila, an inmate.

Guests from outside were also invited to bring in a chirp on the silent life of the women who have otherwise forgotten the happier times.

"We invite people from of different sections of the society to prove that these are normal people. And this disease, like other disease, is a common disease," said Pattanaik, Director of Mission Ashra.

Diwali will be celebrated on October 28. It marks the legendary return of Hindu Lord Ram to his home Ayodhya after killing the demon king Ravana, symbolising the victory of righteousness over evil.

Legend says millions of lamps were lit when Lord Rama returned after 14 years of exile in forest after his fight against Ravana.

Diwali is also celebrated in honour of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.

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