Ch.Santakar

They voice concern against the injustice

Several tribal women are not allowed to sell their products inside the ground

They gathered information about various aspects of the festival

KORAPUT: Child reporters made their presence felt when they stood in support of the poor tribal traders who were not allowed to sell their products on the ground where Parab festival was held. As per the regulations of the local administration laid for the smooth conduct of the fair on the police parade grounds, those traders who had booked their stalls by paying a rent of Rs.5,000 were allowed to sell their products inside the arena.

While tribal traders from across the State made their entry into the ground under the banners of different societies and groups, individual tribal traders from the locality who could not pay the amount were driven out of the ground. Speaking to the child reporters who were on the mission to gather the pulse of the festival by interacting with the visitors coming to the Parab festival, Kamala Jani, a tribal woman who came to sell her goods told that along with some other women, she was not allowed inside by the police

After hearing about their plight, when Soumyasri Sarangi and some other child reporters wanted to know the reason from the policemen, they were told that the women had not paid the rentals to open their stalls inside the ground.

While the argument by the child reporters that the tribals had all the rights to sell their products in the fair as the festival was meant for them could not facilitate their entry into the ground to sell their products, they were successful in expressing their views.It was not the only instance when they utilised their right to speech On noticing an official vehicle parked inside the ground, they raised the voice as everyone else was asked to keep their vehicle out Even though such action by the children could not bring any change in the attitude of official system, it had given them confidence to bring the agents of change even after going back to their respective villages, Sarat Kumar Pattnaik, a social worker from Koraput said. Inside the ANKUR stall in the exhibition ground being set up by UNICEF, children explained the visitors on the benefits of safe drinking water and sanitation in villages in addition to consuming iodised salt for a healthier life.

On the concluding day of Parab festival, the flag was handed over to the public of Koraput by Balakrishna Sahu , the district collector of Koraput.