Delayed rains are forcing Bidar farmers to seek help of the Rain Gods through prayers, padayatras, mass feedings and strange rituals like marriage of frogs!
In Basava Kalyan taluk, residents of seven villages organised a ‘padayatra’ and ‘bhajan’ on Saturday. They sang devotional songs and visited 11 temples of Lord Hanuman in the vicinity. Around 100 people walked for six days visiting temples. “Seeds sown in the soil are drying up. If we don’t rain in one week, we are bound to lose the crop,” says Bheem Sindhe, a farmer from Ladavanti village.
Children went around houses carrying two frogs in pots on their heads. They asked house wives to throw water on their heads and raised slogans in favour Maleraya, the Rain God. Later, the frogs were married in the Beerappa temple in the village. Mahadev Reddy, a former Gram Panchayat member from the village said that monsoon was the mating season for frogs and villagers believed that a marriage of frogs would bring rain.
A ‘Khand’, or mass feeding programme was organised in the temple later. A frog wedding was celebrated in Kohinoor village on Sunday. Kohinoor hobli is the worst affected due to delayed rainfall. There are no proper ground water sources and crops are drying up, Ratikanth Sirsiwadi, a Gram Panchayat member, said.