Periya Suriyur village near Tiruchi has geared up to host the first jallikattu in the district on January 15.
It has been a customary practice at the village to hold the bull taming event on the second day of the Tamil month of Thai when ‘Maattu Pongal’ is celebrated. Amid a series of norms stipulated by the State government for holding the event and the restrictions imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers have completed the preparatory works at the jallikattu venue - a sprawling barren area located ahead of the village.
Separate makeshift stages made of metal for accommodating VIPs, officials, press corps and prominent persons of the village have been installed at the venue. Metal barricades have been erected at spots including the bull holding area and ‘vaadivasal’ through which the participating bulls would be allowed one after the other after being subjected to medical examination by the veterinary team. Double barricades have been installed along the bull running arena to a distance of about 400 feet from the ‘vaadivaasl’ to prevent onlookers from entering. There is a separate spot earmarked as the collection point for the animal owners to capture the bulls after being released.
The venue has a separate area for tamers who would be allowed to participate only after obtaining a negative report for COVID-19 and checked by medical teams using thermal scanners and breath analysers at the event venue. “The organising committee has completed the preparatory works and spent about ₹15 lakh for holding the annual event,” said S. Raja, one of the organisers. The best tamer would go home with a new motorcycle and the best bull would be given a one sovereign gold chain. The number of tamers would be restricted this time in view of the pandemic, he added.
The district administration on Monday convened a meeting with the jallikattu organising committee members here on Monday in which officials of revenue, health, police, animal husbandry, fire and rescue services and public works departments participated. The meeting was presided over by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruchi, N. Vishwanathan.
During the meeting which lasted about an hour, the officials briefed the organisers about the protocols to be followed besides making it clear that every tamer should necessarily come with a COVID-19 negative report to take part. Official sources said the time limit for holding the event was also put forth to the organisers and the number of bulls and tamers to be allowed. The organisers were also asked to insure the event.
Meanwhile, an official press release from the Pudukottai Collector P. Uma Maheswari on Monday said the registration of tamers and bulls besides RT-PCR tests for tamers for the jallikattu to be held at Viralimalai would be conducted on January 13 and 14 at the Government Boys Higher Secondary School at Viralimalai. The jallikattu event at Viralimalai would be held on January 17.