Telangana

Adivasis welcome girl child

Right example: In a rare occurrence, a Raj Gond family opts for cutting a cake to celebrate the birthday of the daughter at the Keslapur Nagoba jatara.   | Photo Credit: S. HARPAL SINGH

It is often heartening to note that the aboriginal people of erstwhile composite Adilabad district continue to cling to their culture which shows them as one of the most progressive communities. Various aspects of the culture of Adivasis had come alive during the jataras or village fairs, the season having concluded a few days ago with Kerameri jatara in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.

For example, the celebration of birthday of a three-year-old girl, involving a rare cutting of a cake, at the famous Adivasi fair the Nagoba jatara in January revealed the importance attached by the Raj Gond and Pardhan enthnic people to the girl child. These tribes actually welcome the birth of a girl child and consider it an auspicious sign.

“Ladki do ghar ka chirag hai aur ladka ek hi ghar ka (A girl lights up two homes whereas a boy is the light of only one home),” observed Mesram Dada Rao, a Pardhan elder from Gundala in Narnoor mandal of Adilabad district. “Even though she leaves the home of her parents owing to marriage, a daughter continues to care for them,” he added.

Dada Rao disclosed that daughters continue to receive honour at their parents’ home as they are invited to take part in all important religious activities taking place there. “For instance, it is only the daughters of Mesram clan Raj Gonds and Pardhans who fetch holy water to make the sacred ‘boula’ or earthen ant hill signifying the abode of Nagoa, the serpent clan god,” he pointed out.

“A majority of us are not even aware of sex determination test or abortion of a female foetus,” claimed Kanaka Ambaji Rao, a contract teacher at Rasimetta Ashram School in Jainoor mandal of Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district. “A girl child is considered to be harbinger of good times and prosperity,” he says while pointing to his 17-month-old year old girl child named Elizabeth after the wife of well known Anthropologist Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf who had stayed in his village Marlavai in the same mandal in the 1940s when the couple conducted ethnological research on Raj Gonds of Adilabad.

“Yes, we consider a daughter to be Laxmi of the house. My family has experienced good tidings since the birth of my daughter who will shortly be married off,” claimed Mesram Chandrabhan, the only Adivasi Sub Inspector of Police in Adilabad district.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 3:38:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/adivasis-welcome-girl-child/article23036408.ece

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