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Odisha Tribal Fare missed Bonda people


DHRUTIKAM MOHANTY | Bhubaneswar, February 3, 2012 19:22
Tags : bonda tribes | human safari | odisha | adivasi mela |

After much hyped “Human Safari’ issue, people have developed a inquisitiveness to know more about the Bonda tribes and their life style, which has been observed during on-going Tribal Fare ( Adivasi Mela ) at Bhubaneswar. Visitors are visiting the Bonda pavilion stall in huge numbers. "The tribal village segment of the fare, where the materialistic ethnic identity of different tribes of Odisha has been recreated is  attracting a huge inquisitive crowd. Especially, foot-falls in Bonda cottage is more than cottages of other tribes", said Dr. Premananda Patel, research officer of the project.

Here, every tribal stall or pavilion has been designed in accordance with the cottages of the respective concerned tribes show-casing the typical instruments, utensils, dresses used by the tribes in their day-to-day life along with the cultural practises. Beside the exhibition of materials, members of the tribe are also there to interact with the visitors. But this year, one exception has been noticed. Though Bonda stall is there, but no member of the tribe were present there to interact with people as earlier. When asked about this, a organiser said, " Six members from Bonda community were here to construct and furnish the stall with their ethnic products, but due to some urgent work they left for their native place Mudulipada of Malkangiri district in Odisha. But you can find members of Bonda community in Adivasi Hat, where they are promoting their crafts and forest products."

Absence of  Bonda  community in Adivasi Gaon could be assumed as an adverse impact of the 'Human Safari' controversy, which was kicked-off after a foreign travel operator's advertisement to view nearly naked Bonda tribes in Odisha during their trip to the state. This has attracted huge reactions from activists across the state. Police action has been initiated against the channel partners of that particular tour operator. The state government took the issue seriously and a senior bureaucrat has been asked to investigate the whole issue in ground zero. Addl.Secretary of Panchayatiraj department, Usha Padhee has investigated the matter and submitted her report to the Chief Minister. Perhaps, this heat over the issue has made the organisers more cautious and they finally decided not to exhibit the members of tribal community at the fare.

CM Naveen Patnaik was also not too free about the Bonda fascination! He had spent a lot of time with Bonda tribes and interacted with them with utmost sincerity and affection. Jyotiranjan Mohapatra, officer in-charge of the fare, informs, "On the 3rd day of the fare, CM had been to the fare to spent some time with the tribals and also purchased some of their craft products. He spent a substantial amount of time with the Bonda women and saw them assembling a solar lantern; and he was charmed by their marketing skill and purchased a solar lantern from them."

This year, Mela has got a face lift with an innovative concept, immaculate planning, designing and overall management. 135 Government and non-Government stalls have filled the space besides, the tribal food plaza, tribal hat and tribal arts and crafts pavilion. While tribal SHG groups conduct the transactions of tribal products in the tribal hat, the inherent skills of tribal artisans are displayed in the crafts pavilion set up in a flower garden.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017