In the calm corners of Maharashtra's Yavatmal district, a centuries-old temple dedicated to Goddess Sita has undergone a makeover.
The shrine celebrates single motherhood and talks about the resilience of a single mother.
The shrine at Raveri is remarkable not only in its reverence of a mother's grit but also as a one-of-its-kind place of worship where the idol Goddess Sita and her child twins Luv and Kush stand without the idols of Lord Ram and Lakshman. This unique place of worship honours a mother's strength for her child.
Raveri is a village located three km south of Ralegaon in the Yavatmal district and has a mythical history.
When Lord Sri Rama left Mother Sita in exile, Goddess Sita was residing in the Dandakarana area and this is where Luv-Kush was born.
Luv-Kush had completed their education at this place under the guidance of Shri Valmiki Rishi.
If we talk about the renovation, which included the replacement of the weather-beaten statue with a newly carved stone idol, the whole village gathered on November 7, and the joyful reopening of the shrine was done.
Wamanrao Chatap, a leader of the farmers' group Shetkari Sanghatana, said, "While all the attention was on Ayodhya, here in Raveri, we have renovated our shrine dedicated to Goddess Sita. Our devotion goes beyond generations, and we are happy to welcome a new idol of Goddess Sita to grace our temple."
Sharad Joshi, the founder of the organisation was acknowledged for drawing attention to the uniqueness of the shrine in 2001. He was amazed by the narrative of Goddess Sita as a single mother nurturing her sons to become deserving heirs of Ram's legacy, Sharad Joshi perceived it as a sign of maternal resilience.
Then it became his mission to rebuild the temple as a monument to courage. The shrine is now serving as a motivation to all single mothers, especially widows in agriculture communities.
As Wamanrao Chatap said, "Now, the shrine is an inspiration to all single mothers, especially widows in agribusiness communities."
According to the people of the village, Every man who comes here should understand and feel that his wife should be taken care of under any circumstances. It is felt that men and women will get inspiration from this shrine.