Archive for December, 2010

Sri Sri Ravishankar laid the foundation stone at Kalahandi for an Agriculture University

Following is from The Pioneer:

Spiritualism pervaded the air here with Art of Living Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar’s visit and didactic discourse on Wednesday evening at the college field here thronged by the people of both Kalahandi and adjacent districts.

The backdrop of the dais was catchy with the images of Maa Manikeswari Temple, Chhatar Yatra and the primitive tribal groups depicting the true aura of this tribal district.

In the morning hour, Ravishankar laid a foundation stone at nearby Dharmagarh for an agriculture university and air-dashed here by chopper at around 2.30 pm. Being accorded a rousing reception at the police field here, he went to the farm house of Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das, 10 km away from here, where he joined a Rudravishek at the Shiv Temple in the premises.

Addressing hundreds of Dongria Kondhs and tribals from the Niyamgiri hilly areas, invited by MP Das, Ravishankar said, the tribal culture and heritage should be saved at any cost. Guruji announced to construct a school in the tribal area where the kids will have better education and also distributed blankets to 800 primitive tribes.

Addressing the gatherings from the dais in the evening hour, Guruji exhorted that people should focus on agriculture so that development is possible.

“Where the feeling of apnapan and prem (universal acceptance and love for all) ends, there starts bhrastachar (corruption) and unless the people curb corruption unitedly, there will never be any progress while corruption can be eradicated through Art of Living course,” Guruji asserted.

Guruji also appealed to the people to cooperate with each other to develop the underdeveloped Kalahandi and formation of sadbhavna (equality) among all.

Emphasising on seva, he said everyone’s determination, dedication and God’s grace will witness Kalahandi develop soon. He also advised to have a sanitation drive in each village and get the district rid of plastics.

Recalling his recent visit to China, Ravishankar said no western country has developed like China.

Focusing on medicinal plants he said, Kalahandi is full of flora and fauna in its forests and if it is used for the betterment of human beings, it would profit all and the people would get good medicines in the market.

He also appealed to the farmers to have a zero budget farming.

Guruji informed that MP Bhakta Das had requested him to have a visit to the district and since so many people from Kalahandi have visited him in the last 15 years, he was curious to reciprocate.

Speaking to the Press on as to why terrorism is increasing in the world, Guruji replied that is why he is a globetrotter striving at bringing peace and equality among all.

When asked whether he supports the industrialisation, Guruji quipped, “Yes I do, but never at the cost of environment.”

December 17, 2010 at 8:17 am Leave a comment

Paschim Orissa Agrani Sangathan (POAS) observe the Nuankhai festival

Following report is from The Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: The harvest festival of western Orissa, Nuakhai, may have been over few months back but the fervour still continues in the capital.

Members of the Paschim Orissa Agrani Sangathan (POAS) gathered in hundreds at the Adivasi Ground in the city to celebrate the 10th edition of the Nuakhai Bhetghat cultural festival on Sunday.

Students, corporate and government employees and people from all walks of life, including politicians belonging to western Orissa and those currently based in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, participated in the event.

A number of cultural programmes were showcased at the event that reflected the folk culture of the districts of Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Kalhandi and Bolangir that form western Orissa.

The folk dances included the famous Dalkhai dance, in which young girls wearing traditional handloom costumes performed swift movements on foot tapping beats of the drums.

The Dalkhai folk songs, the Raserkeli and traditional Sambalpuri folks enthralled the audience.

These dances are performed during various festivities of the Sambalpuri speaking region.

The Kalmuhi song accompanied with a little dance presented at the event was based on the importance of tress and a green environment.

The group of male singers who performed the Kalmuhi discussed among themselves various mythological, scientific and cultural aspects of importance of trees.

The Bajasal was a musical rendition where young girls and boys danced in pairs. Cymbals and traditional drums were played in such high spirits that captivated the audience.

“This is a traditional dance item performed before a marriage. Young girls and boys dance with the joy of starting a new life,” said Biplab Bhesra, a student from Balangir.

The artistes from Bhawanipatna, Bolangir, Padampur, Jharsuguda and Barpalli performed the folk dances and music at the event.

“Though the Nuakhai festivities are observed in the concerned districts much before, we hold the festival as a get together of members from Western Orissa who reside for job or studies in the cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack,” said working president of the POAS, Sibashankar Mishra. “People from all communities participate in the event and encourage us,” he added.

Young boys present at the event demanded for a performance of the internationally popular Rangabati song. As soon as artistes from Sambalpur began singing this song, college students started cheering loudly.

“This is the favourite song of almost everyone in western Orissa. No festivity is complete without Rangabati,” said a student Susanta Naik.

Literatteur Umashankar Panda, handloom artisan Surendra Meher, archaeologist J. P. Singh Deo, hockey player Lazrus Barla and singer Punyaprabha Panigrahi were felicitated during the event.

A sand art exhibition by sand artist Sudam Pradhan on the concept of environment and peace as well as a photo exhibition of earlier years of the event were held at the venue.

December 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary of Nuapada district

Western Orissa is home to many beautiful places. However, the Orissa govt. is promoting tourism only in the coastal belt of Orissa. Like many other sectors the tourism industry of western Orissa is in a sorry state. Thanks to Orissa govt.!  

Following is from The Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: The Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary in Nuapada district has a beautiful blend of history, archaeological treasures, wildlife, rock formations, waterfalls and forest ranges rich with rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.

Once the epicentre of the Koshala kingdom, the Maraguda valley near the sanctuary today stands testimony to the past with its archaeological remains. The table-top hill of Sunabeda has rich bauxite deposits.

The valley, below the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary along the Jonk river, has brick structures that date back to the time of the Koshala kingdom.

Legend has it that the rulers of the Kalacheri dynasty, who hailed from the Jabalpur area, came to Tripur (also called Sripur) and the Maraguda valley was their territory then. While historian Navin Kumar Sahu has referred to the fact that the area could have been ruled by the Nala dynasty during the sixth and the seventh century, many historians also feel that the excavated remains of the valley belonged to the era between the ninth and 12th century AD.

“Many historical remains may have been submerged under the waters of the Patora dam (Upper Jonk Medium Irrigation Project).

“Historians claimed that the rulers of the Ganga dynasty, who ruled the coastal, central and eastern parts of Kalinga, had frequent battles with the rulers of the Kalacheri dynasty. King Ananga Bhima Dev III had attacked the Kalacheris and his son-in-law Paramadri Dev was killed in the battle.

“Finally, during the rule of Narasingha Dev I, the western part of Kalinga came under the rulers of the Ganga dynasty,” said archaeologist B.K. Rath.

Apart from its historic saga, the sanctuary, spread over 600 sq km, has two beautiful waterfalls amidst the ancient rock formation— Goudhus and Beniadhus. While there was a forest rest house in Goudhus, the eco-development committee near the Patora dam and the Jogeswar Temple of Shiva are the major attractions in the area.

Reaching Sunabeda has now become very easy from Bhubaneswar by the Puri-Durg Intercity Express, which starts from Bhubaneswar at 7.15pm and reaches around 7.30 am the next morning at Nuapada, the district headquarters town.

From Nuapada, the train departs at 7.15pm and reaches Bhubaneswar the following morning at 7.30am.

Because of Maoist attacks, the forest rest houses are no longer habitable, so one has to stay at any hotel in Khariar Road, 12km from Nuapada.

Divisional forest officer (DFO) Biswa Ranjan Rout said: “The recent activists of rebels have affected the inflow tourists.”

Ecologist Prasad Dash said: “The sanctuary falls in the western fringe of Orissa. There are three ranges— Nuapada, Komna, and Sunabeda —and the region is the catchment area of rivers Indra, Jonk and Son.

The altitude of the area is ranges from 727metre to 1000 metre (Chouradongar) and there are 52 villages inside the sanctuary and 167 villages in the buffer zone.

The forest land is characterised by a series of long hill ranges.

Apart from three major rivers, the valleys are criss-crossed by nine major streams, 12 waterfalls and two springs. There are teak forests, amidst which there is a significant presence of animals like tigers, leopards, gaurs and nilgais.

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary has an excellent bio-diversity and an unique eco-system. It has the potential for great tourist attraction due to the wilderness in its natural condition, waterfalls, historical monuments and architectural ruins.

The tract is an excellent research laboratory for the study of conservation biology of wild animals.

To combat the environmental menace of Parthenium (Parthenium hysteroporus, the worst weed of the millennium), voluntary organisation Art of Living, along with Bhanja Sansad of Sunabeda, has launched an ecological drive.

Researcher and local nature activist Duryodhan Majhi said: “The sanctuary meets the sustainable livelihood of local inhabitants. It serves as a centre of conservation, education and nature interpretation for people. It tremendously influences the micro-climate of the area and checks soil erosion and siltation in agricultural lands. The presence of around 10 per cent grassland and wetland ecosystems help in providing residential region for migratory birds. The presence of hot springs at Chandrasil and Checheradongor are also major attractions.”

Another important feature of the sanctuary is that the Chukutia Bhunjia tribals living there protect different forest patches in terms of their sacred sights on clan-based living which supports the tiger population and could be assumed as a very common effort to conserve the big cats.

“Bird watching at Maraguda, animal sighting near Borra, Bankiam, Datunama, Goudhus and Jamgaon, the presence of scenic landscapes in the form of waterfalls like Goudhus, Beniadhus, the presence of a reservoir and Rajiv Udyan at Patora help tourists relax. The wilderness at Kholibhitar, Beniadhus, Patdarha, Maraguda-Beniadhus stretch and Rasna are also to be experienced during a visit,” Majhi said.

The ecological boundary does not coincide with the legal boundary in the reserved area.

The issues of rights of people are yet to be settled and illicit felling, poaching, uncontrolled grazing, ground fire, man-animal conflict, fragmentation of corridor, lack of awareness, inadequate human resources and logistics, incentives for conservation and protection are to be addressed.

Though incidence of insect-attack and pathological problems are less, change in land use pattern, poaching, scarcity of water during summer are some areas to be looked into.

December 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm 1 comment

Experience the rural touch: Daakuchhe I Maati – a Kosli song by Dr. Harekrishna Meher

December 11, 2010 at 11:44 am Leave a comment

The educated CM of Orissa and his apathy towards health services of tribal districts

Earlier it was reported that Orissa would establish govt. medical college at Balangir. Now, the health minister says the medical college at Balangir will be established in PPP mode. Looks like the CM is confused and he does not really understand the pathetic situation of health service in KBK. Just to remind you that the CM and health ministers were silent onlookers when cholera was spreading in KBK and many lives were lost. The CM should be held responsible for the miserable health and education services in the tribal dominated Kalahandi Balangir Koraput region.

See the following report from The Samaja:

December 11, 2010 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

Saraswati Sishu Vidya Gyana Mandir showcase India’s cultural heritage

Following report The Telegraph:

Balangir, Dec. 10: Streets of Balangir wore a rare look as students, teachers and parents took out a procession that showcased India in totality by depicting the nation’s history, culture and tradition.

The spectacular roadshow kicked-off the silver jubilee function of Saraswati Sishu-Vidya-Gnyana Mandir here today.

Students, many of whom were dressed to resemble characters from Indian’s history and mythology, were present in the half-kilometre long procession. Mythological characters such as Lord Rama, Sita, Lord Shiva, Goddess Saraswati walked alongside Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and other legends of history. Some were also dressed like tribals to highlight the lifestyle of India’s indigenous community. Parents of the students, especially mothers, took part in ‘Kalas Yatra’.

Sarat Mahakud, a member of the school’s management committee, said the procession was organised to highlight the real India.

Managing committee vice- Sanatan Thakur said it was an ideal opportunity for the school to exhibit everything Indian.

“We have tried to present a brief history of India’s past and present through this procession,” Thakur said.

The participating students were also very excited. “It served me to know more about India’s history as I prepared myself to dress up as a freedom fighter. I learnt about the many facets of the freedom movement,” said a student who had dressed up to resemble Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Saraswati Vidya Mandir of Balangir has emerged as a premier high school in the state and has been regularly scoring high in the Council of Higher Secondary Examination.

December 11, 2010 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Maa Metakani temple of Ulunda, Subarnapur district

December 11, 2010 at 10:56 am 3 comments

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