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The Shaky ‘Wadas’ Of Pune have become a Threat to its Occupants

The PMC has served notices to 120 Wadas asking the occupants to evacuate so that they can demolish the structures

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Wadas of Pune. Image source: www.stockpicturesforeveryone.com
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  • The wadas were built during the reign of the Maratha Empire
  • These wadas have become an obstruction in the city’s attempt to transform itself into a ‘smart’ city
  • To move forward with their plans, the PMC has begun issuing notices in newspapers urging occupants to vacate these wadas

The iconic wadas of Pune, which once stood strong as the pillars of Pune’s rich culture and heritage are in a perilous condition and have become a threat to its occupants.

History is deeply rooted in them. These structures were built during the reign of the Maratha Empire.  The wada system established is known today as the peth area. Starting from Kasba peth, you walk down the roads to come across the other peths, Shaniwar, Shukrawar, Narayan, Budhwar, Sadashiv, and few others. Today, in most of these peth areas, the wadas have been brought down. In their place ,huge towers have been erected, said the Hindu report.

Wadas.Image Source:The Times Of India

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With the city rapidly changing, these wadas have become an obstruction in the city’s attempt to transform itself into a ‘smart’ city.

For the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the perils are more immediate; each year, the looming monsoon poses a threat to the structures.

Image Source:Stock Pictures
Wadas in Pune.Image Source:Stock Pictures

“These structures are in a dangerous condition. So far, we have served notices to 120 of them asking occupants to evacuate so that we can demolish the structures,” says Bipin Shinde, Deputy Engineer, PMC to The Hindu.

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But the occupants refuse to cooperate with the PMC. The poor conditions of the wadas do not disappoint them. They have lived for generations in these wadas and have a strong attachment to them. Nostalgia keeps them within these weak walls. The architecture is another factor that keeps them bound. The unique bhuyar (an underground escape route) present in the wadas are not to be found in the modern apartments, said The Hindu report.

To move forward with their plans, the PMC has begun issuing notices in newspapers urging occupants to vacate these wadas. They have also stated that the civic body will not be responsible if the citizens do not heed the notices.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Developing a city as smart city is one part but on the other hand preserving these wadas as heritage is also of great importance. They have been built almost 100 years back and hence should be preserved with high maintenance.

  • Aparna Gupta

    Wadas will remain cultural heritage when they will be repaired and renovated otherwise they can cause damage and fatal injuries to the occupants.

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All You Need to Know About the Sport of Jallikattu

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sports, which poses a risk of life for the participants

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banned bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu
Jallikattu sport of Tamil Nadu. Wikimedia

By Ruchika Verma

  • Jallikattu is a traditional Tamil sport
  • The sport involves bulls and humans, the latter trying to control the former
  • The sport was banned in 2014, which created lots of controversies

Jallikattu or Sallikkattu, also known as ‘eru thazhuvuthal’ and ‘manju virattu’ traditionally, was in news last year, around this time due to the ban imposed on it by the Supreme Court. The ban was much hyped and gathered a plethora of media’s attention.

Jallikattu ban was much hyped. Wikimedia Commons
Jallikattu ban was much hyped. Wikimedia Commons

Jallikattu ban has also garnered lots of political attention due to the involvement of Tamil Nadu and Central governments. The issue is much hyped due to the political context involved in it too.

What exactly is Jallikattu? 

Jallikattu is a traditional sport and spectacle in which bulls of the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds are released into a crowd of people, and multiple human participants attempt to control the bulls while they try to escape.

Jallikattu is seen as animal cruelty by many activists. Flickr
Jallikattu is seen as animal cruelty by many activists. Flickr

Jallikattu is practised in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations. The districts, Madurai, Thanjavur, and Salem are the most famous for conducting Jallikattu. The game dates back to Tamil classical period, which went back to 400 BC. Ancient Tamil Sangam literature described the practice as ‘Yeru thazhuvuthal’ which literally means “bull embracing.” With time the sport has become synonymous with valour and bravery.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu legalises Jallikattu with a New Law

What happens in Jallikattu and how?

The bulls participating in the game are all lined up behind a narrow gate and released one by one into the arena. The participants have to either control the bull by holding its hump or clutch away from a flag attached to the horns. Owners of the bulls often announce prizes for the man who gets the hold of their bull.

The objective of the game is not to kill or overpower the bull, but to hold onto their hump for a certain amount of time or distance.

The participants are only allowed to hold onto the hump of the Bull. www.in.com
The participants are only allowed to hold onto the hump of the Bull. www.in.com

There are three variants to the game. First, when the bulls are released from an enclosed area. Second, when the bull is directly released into the open ground. And third, when the bull is tied to a rope as the only restriction, and a team of 7-9 members has to untie the prize from the bull’s horns in 30 minutes of the time period.

The gate through which bulls enter the arena is called Vadi Vasai. The bulls charge at the men standing most near to the gate. One of the rules also says that a participant is only allowed to hold bull’s hump and no other body part. The other rules vary from region to region.

Also Read: Animal rights organisations challenge new law on Jallikattu

Jallikattu Ban and Controversy

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sport, which poses a risk of life for the participants.

In 2014, The Supreme Court banned the sport, endorsing the activists’ concerns according to which, Jallikattu is not only cruelty towards the animal, but also poses a threat to humans. According to the data provided, between 2010 and 2014, 17 people were killed and approximately 1000 were injured during Jallikatu.

The Jallikattu ban was protests by many Tamilians.
The Jallikattu ban was protested by many Tamilians.

However, the ban invited a lot of protests. Many Tamil communities called this ban a violation of their culture and tradition.

In 2017, many lawyers plead to remove the ban which was rejected by the court. After requests and arguments of Tamil communities, central government reversed the ban, however, after Supreme Court struck the order down, the ban was imposed again. However, the government of Tamil Nadu sanctioned the sport and brought it back into the practice.