Women breaking religious barriers, pull Goddess Subhadra's Chariot in Baripada

Thousands of women belonging to Hindu and Muslim community in all vigour and spirit pulled the Chariot of Devi Subhadra in Baripada town of Mayurbhanj district that hosts the second most popular Rath Yatra of Odisha. Famously known for its unique association with women, the festival was first introduced in 1975, the year also observed as the International Women's year. It was the brain child of the district collector, Bibekananda Pattanayak who came up with this innovative idea to let women pull the chariot of the Devi Subhadra, also known as 'Shakti', to symbolize the empowerment of women at Baripada. Today, a number of women from neighbouring districts and other states, cutting across religious lines, come to the town to be a part of this phenomenal tradition and spread the message of peace and harmony.