Jamshedpur, April 21: Amidst on going lockdown and threat of spread of coronavirus, tribals are planning to make Bishu Shikar to be a symbolic affair on May 4.
The apex body, Dolma Buru Sendra Samity (DBSS) has announced that the festival, also known as Sendra, would be celebrated on May 4 at Dalma wildlife sanctuary.
DBSS head Rakesh Hembrom said the festival was being celebrated for over a century now and they have decided to organise the rituals on May 4. “ Amidst on going lockdown and the risk associated with the virus we want to make Bishu Shikar a symbolic event. Barring the customary puja on the foothills on May 2, the celebration will be without hunting animals,”he added.
According to him, they would assemble near Fadlugora along NH 33 for puja and then shoot arrows as a symbol for Sendra. “We have asked the participants from Jharkhand, Bengal and Odisha to not come for the festival,”he said.
Hembrom said there is no need for hunting. Instead, the need of the hour is to wipe out the deadly coronavirus.
Assistant conservator of forest R.P. Singh said though DBSS chief priest Hembrom has assured him they would keep the tradition symbolic but they will continue to keep an eye on the movement of tribals.
The samiti would also appeal to all the tribal organisations in the next couple of days to not kill animals during Sendra but observe token rituals.
Jointly with the Dhalbhum forest division, the samiti would also chalk out the cultural and other programmes to be oranised on the day of the festival to attract the tribals.
“We are hopeful that the tribals would wake up early in the morning and worship their deities but will not go ahead for hunting as the senior functionaries of the Sendra Samiti has assured us about their plans,”noted an official.
It may be mentioned that every year, the forest department tries to aware villagers about the importance of wildlife and animals but still dozens of animals including deer, boar and wild buffaloes are killed during. Clad with hunting weapons like bows and arrows, they go into the jungle in search of animals by beating drums and chanting of holy hymns.
Meanwhile, the forest department is geared up to stop the tribals from hunting wild animals. Eleven strategic locations have been identified where members of Eco Club and villagers would be deployed to convince the tribals not to go for hunting.