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Upanayana Samskara for Girls – Janoi or Sacred Thread Ceremony for Women

Wearing of sacred thread, also known as Janoi, is mainly reserved for the Hindu males. Upanayana Samskara for girls and women is very rarely performed. But in Vidyamandir College in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Upanayana Samskara for girls and girls wearing sacred thread (Janoi) is not a rarity. The college has in the past 13 years performed the Upanayana Samskara of as many as 25 girls.

In Hinduism, the Upanayana Samskara ceremony gives a child a second birth and entitles him to study the Vedas and participate in Vedic functions. In essence, after the Janoi wearing ceremony, the child commences his journey on the road to spiritual life.
The Kanpur-based Vidyamandir College, which has received ‘A’ grade among all Girls’ Colleges in UP, will soon be holding an upanayan samsakara ceremony in which as many as 11 girls would be provided the ‘sacred thread’ amidst chanting of vedic hymns and mantras.
Speaking to Deccan Herald from Kanpur, college Principal Dr Asharani Rai said that the ceremony would be held in October on the occasion of the college’s 25th year.
“I have also been wearing the janoi for the past 30 years,” college Principal Dr Asharani Rai said. “The decision to wear the sacred thread has been taken by the girls...no one has forced them...once they made up their mind,” Rai said. “The consent of the parents of the girls is mandatory before the upanayana samskara,” she added.
According to Rai, the object of the Samskara is to make sure that the girls are able to discharge their responsibilities to their family and society in accordance with Hindu religion. The girls are taught about Vedic education and apprised about their social and familial responsibilities.