Widows living in Vrindavan, who would miss meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi this Raksha Bandhan due to COVID-19 outbreak, have dispatched 501 hand-made rakhis and as many face masks to him, said an NGO on Thursday.
The special rakhis are having images of the prime minister on them while the masks have been themed on the temple city of Vrindavan with messages like "Stay Safe" and "Aatmnirbhar" written on them.
Till last year, some widows had been visiting the PM's residence in Delhi to tie rakhi on his wrist but this year they will not be meeting him due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NGO Sulabh Hope Foundation, which is supporting these women, said in a statement.
The rakhis would reach the Prime Minister's Office on Friday, two days ahead of the Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu festival that symbolically binds brothers into taking care of their sisters, the foundation said.
Chhabi Dasi, 75, who had personally tied rakhi to the PM last year, said spending days inside her ashram for the last five months had made her slightly disheartened but preparing rakhis and masks made her happy.
"I have personally designed special masks carrying messages like ''Stay Safe'' and ''Atmanirbhar'' and rakhis with Modi ji''s images on it," she said, according to the statement.
The rakhis have been prepared by a group of old-aged widows living in the ''Maa Sharda'' and the ''Meera Sagabhagini'' ashrams in the temple city of Vrindavan.
Earlier, on behalf of thousands of widows, four-five of them visited Delhi to present baskets of rakhis and sweets to PM Modi but that practice would be discontinued this year due to pandemic, the foundation''s vice president Vinita Verma said.
"The ongoing coronavirus crisis has disheartened these widows but it did not shatter their spirit so they started preparing rakhis and special Vrindavan-themed masks for the prime minister," she added.