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In Festive Mood: Ranchi University celebrates Festival of Nature “KARMA”

This festival is associated with harvest, which is represented by a Karam tree that symbolizes fertility, wealth and all that is propitious

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Representational Image. Pixabay

Ranchi, Sept 14, 2016: As the ethnic nature festival, Karma got under way on Monday, Ranchi rejoiced with the popular Karma dance on the beat of drums and melodious folk songs, dressed in the old and classical apparel and with a taste of the local delicacies.

Ranchi University, one of the prime educational institutions of Jharkhand also celebrated the festival in the grounds of its Regional and Tribal Languages Department, mentioned TOI report.

The students from different local language courses like Ho, Mundari, Kharia, Panch Pargania, Kurukh, Khortha, Santhali, Nagpuri, and Kurmali enjoyed together.

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Draupadi Murmu, Jharkhand’s Governor marked her significant presence in the celebration.
Talking about the Karma festival she said, “At a time when global warming has led to droughts, low rainfall, melting polar ice sheets and other problems, the Karma festival helps maintain a perfect balance between people and the environment.”

She also talked about the need of establishing an independent university focused only upon the tribal languages, as in to preserve them and spread a word about them.

The mood was so festive and the music so vivacious that towards the end of the celebration nobody could restrain themselves and got swayed by the rhythm.

Ranchi University Logo. Wikimedia
Ranchi University Logo. Wikimedia

HoD of the Regional & Tribal Languages, Mr. K C Tudu said, “It is believed that worshipping Karam Devta would lead to better crop production and soil fertility.”

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He also explained the significance of the festival and the various rituals followed during this.
The Karma Puja is a festival of agriculture and is very sacred to the tribal population of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Assam.

Tribal clans of Baiga, Oraon, Binjhwari, Munda, Majhwar, Ho, Khortha, Korba and many more tribal communities celebrate this festival.

This festival is associated with harvest, which is represented by a Karam tree. It symbolizes fertility, wealth and all that is propitious.

Karma Puja is a religious festival and it really calls for a celebration as the tribal community believes profusely that due to Karam Devta they have a good harvest.

– prepared by Arya Sharan of NewsGram. Twitter: @NoOffense9

  • Manthra koliyer

    This festival is a such a great opportunity to spread a word about Harvest.

  • Enakshi

    Did not know about this festival at all…
    indeed a very good way to let the world know about Harvest

Next Story

Know How Football is Protecting Tribal Girls in Jharkhand from Poverty, Trafficking and Child Marriage

"I was all awkward wearing the sports gear, and afraid of people judging me," she reminisced

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"Football has changed my stand in the society and without it, I would have simply dropped out of school like many other girls in my village," she said. Wikimedia Commons

As an uneducated tribal woman, Tetri Devi, 51, has seen many struggles, but seeing her youngest child, Anshu Kacchap, scale heights in football and visit the UK to play an inter-school football tournament has brought alive dreams, hopes and the zeal to continue her fight against the naysayers. Girls like Anshu are breaking the mould and smashing the glass ceiling with football.

Tetri revealed that when Anshu started playing football, everyone in the community, including her husband, was against the idea. “A girl wearing shorts and spending time playing football was not only looked down upon but was fiercely opposed by many. I remember being stopped by villagers concerned about me allowing the girl to play football and being called out for being a bad mother,” she said, adding that every snide comment she ignored and every advice she didn’t heed was “worth the trouble”.

With her husband unemployed for the larger part of the year, Tetri earns a living for her family of six – among them four daughters, of whom Anshu is the youngest – by selling Hadiya, a locally brewed rice beer in the nearby haats (rural market) in Pahan Toli, a remote village on the outskirts of Ranchi. Football has given her and her daughter a reason to dream again.

Anshu has been associated with OSCAR (Organization for Social Change, Awareness and Responsibility) Foundation’s football training programme, which runs from Chari Huzir on the outskirts of Ranchi, for five years now. She has not only represented Jharkhand in national tournaments but has also been one of the eight girls from Jharkhand who played in a UK Schools Tour, OSCAR ‘Kick Like a Girl’ in October last year.

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Not only has she inspired her elder brother to resume education, but also many other children in her village to become a part of the change that football has initiated in her life. Wikimedia Commons

The transformation through football wasn’t an easy one for the 200-odd girls who have taken to the sport around Irba and Kanke. Social stigma aside, acute poverty and challenges like the lack of even a single square meal, looming threats of early marriage and absence of support from their families have been a problem for these tribal girls, living about 30 kilometres from Ranchi. Through all the struggle, football has been their tool against fear, one kick at a time.

Shital Toppo, a student of commerce at a local college, said she was in disbelief when she found out she would be going to Russia in 2018 to watch a FIFA World Cup match as a part of the Football for Hope Movement, a project of FIFA to promote football as a medium for development and growth. She said the first time she went on the field, she couldn’t even manage to kick the ball for the first week.

“I was all awkward wearing the sports gear, and afraid of people judging me,” she reminisced. But it wasn’t all bad for Toppo, who played a friendly match with other members of the delegation from all over the world. She even befriended a representative from Brazil, Barbara.

“Football has changed my stand in the society and without it, I would have simply dropped out of school like many other girls in my village,” she said. Not only has she inspired her elder brother to resume education, but also many other children in her village to become a part of the change that football has initiated in her life.

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Social stigma aside, acute poverty and challenges like the lack of even a single square meal, looming threats of early marriage and absence of support from their families have been a problem for these tribal girls. Pixabay

For Tinky Kumari, 16, like hundreds of young girls in the area, an early wedding was supposed to celebrate her passing the matriculation examinations. Her elder brother, a school dropout himself, forced her to work as a farm labourer but football became her weapon of protest.

“My brother didn’t hesitate to beat me up just to stop me from playing football,” she recalled. She said her trip to the UK was a turning point as now everyone in her family has finally stopped talking about marrying her off. With her parents’ support, she is now continuing her education.

The narrative of how football empowered these village girls is a story that never fails to inspire. Helena Tete, 53, has been mentoring the girls since the early days of the programme. She has been a witness to the story of these girls and how football has empowered them to become what they are.

She recalled that when the training started in 2013, the girls taking part in the training were scared and hesitant. Their families were reluctant as they didn’t see a future in sports for them, she said. “Today, every time they play a national tournament or win a match, it is such a proud moment for us,” she added.

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The transformation through football wasn’t an easy one for the 200-odd girls who have taken to the sport around Irba and Kanke. Wikimedia Commons

Started in Chari Huzir in Kanke block, the programme by OSCAR foundation now covers eight different tolas (a group of villages). A few players from the training institute have made it to Under-15 and Under-17 teams of Jharkhand.

Though professional football will not be a part of the larger plan for many girls, for now they are rewriting their life through a sport that has helped them realise their worth in the world.

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“I started playing football when I was in class eight and I arrived on the field wearing a traditional skirt,” recalled Anshu. She thought people would make fun of her but instead, she became less conscious over time and mastered the sport.

She noted that the most important factor in her story was her mother’s decision to let her play. “As I teach young girls now, it feels good to be a person who others look up to,” added Anshu, who dreams of taking her football career forward along with higher studies. (IANS)