Celebrating sibling bond, India’s disabled community to have a low-key Raksha Bandan this year
3 August is celebrated as Raksha Bandan across India. A day to celebrate the love and bond between siblings, Raksha Bandan is special for many reasons. But due to the Coronavirus pandemic and its spread, it is best advised to limit celebrations to home. So India’s disabled community is celebrating the auspicious day inside the comfort of their homes.
Raksha Bandan is a day to celebrate the unconditional love between brothers and sisters. A sibling bond is not just beautiful, but unique as well. Having a brother or sister can make your life more beautiful because you have a family member to share things about your life. Sisters of all ages tie a talisman, popularly called ‘rakhi’, around the wrists of their brothers for which they get a gift in return. The ‘rakhi’ is symbolic of life-long love, care and responsibilities of a brother.
3 August is indeed special for siblings in India because Raksha Bandan is celebrated on this day during this year. But due to the Coronavirus pandemic and spread of the virus, many siblings are unable to meet and greet on the auspicious day. But everyone is celebrating in their own special ways, and it is not any less for India’s disabled community too. Their calendar has been marked already!
Pandemic does not affect celebrations at home
Vinayana Khurana who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy is a poet and writer and someone who has been vocal about disability rights. This year, for Raksha Bandan, she has written a beautiful poetry for her brother whom she lovingly calls ‘Venu Bhai’. The poem beautifully pens the best moments they had together as siblings, the fights and quarrels and how her brother’s love is unconditional and forever. Most importantly, they are best friends.
“We are planning to celebrate at home. Mom is going to make Chole Bature, our favorite dish. Both of us are fans of Honey Singh, so we shall play his songs too”, says Vinayana.
That is indeed an ideal way to celebrate Raksha Bandan while staying safe inside the house.
Pulkit Sharma, an accessibility reviewer is a wheelchair user from Delhi. The national capital is a city where Raksha Bandan is celebrated in all its grandeur. It is not any less at the Sharma household too, but this year it is going to be done in a limited manner.
“All of us siblings are connected well and we share about everything irrespective of our ages. We are more like friends and have bonded well over the years. This year too, we are going to celebrate Raksha Bandan, but in a safe way. My sisters are all staying in Delhi, but they will come one by one to our home. This is because we want to follow social distancing. A few relatives are also planning to come. We are all becoming cautious, so will celebrate accordingly”, says Pulkit.
Proud mothers speak
For mothers, it gives immense satisfaction and happiness to watch their children bond. Mumbai-based Archana Patil has always supported her children, 23-year old Rashmi Patil and 21-year-old Jatin Patil. While Rashmi has a hearing impairment, Jatin was diagnosed with autism. The siblings have chosen their paths and are doing well in life. Archana says that Rashmi and Jatin shares a great relationship, it has only grown thicker over the years.
Rashmi has been busy with her exams, but she managed to make a ‘rakhi’ for her brother made from beads and foam sheet. Jatin, as a return gift, made a hand-made jewelry which is Rashmi’s favorite. Archana is also making a traditional sweet made from sweet rice and coconut milk which is a favorite amongst the siblings.
Pune-based Pratima Vikram Bhinge’s 17-year-old son Kush was diagnosed with a developmental delay at a young age. The only son, Kush has a furry sister at home. Called Maggie, Kush is celebrating his beautiful bond with his furry sister, a beautiful and compassionate way to celebrate Raksha Bandan!
“We are only having basic, simple celebrations at home. Kush also has two cousin sisters in Pune itself. So he is most likely to celebrate Rakhi with them”, says Pratima.
Raksha Bandan is celebrated mostly in north India. Due to the Coronavirus spread, experts have advised everyone to stay inside the comfort of their homes. This Raksha Bandan, make it special for your sibling, but stay indoors and celebrate.
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