P Mishra

Giridih (Jharkhand): The tribal communities of North Chhotanagpur plateau especially those belonging to the Munda and Santhal tribes are now bracing up for their most awaited annual festival – ‘Sendra’ (a kind of festival in which they hunt wild animals and distribute their meat among themselves). This annual festival is observed on the occasion of ‘Baishakh Purnima’ on Sunday.

More than 10,000 tribals living across different parts of Jharkhand and portions of Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and other areas will gather at ‘Marangburu’ – Parasnath hills at Madhuban in Giridih district to participate at the mass hunting of wild animals across the Parasnath and Topchachi forest areas of Giridih and Dhanbad district respectively. Besides, they will also participate in other important rituals apart from cultural and musical activities organized by the community members.  

“Despite pressures and constraints, the tribal groups have assured to co-operate with the forest department in our mission to save and protect the wild animals. Besides, a group of local NGO workers and the shrine board officials of the Jain community have also come forward to co-operate,” said Giridih DFO Kumar Ashish.  

Giridih district vice president of Parasnath based Marangburu Soutasusar Baisee (MSB), Buddhan Hemram, said, “We can’t avoid our Sendra festival, as this is the part and partial of our tribal culture that clearly denotes the primitive culture of Santhal. As the species of wild animals and their numbers are decreasing, our motive is not just to kill the animals but to maintain the dignity of the festival by entering into forests and hills of Parasnath.”

“As entire area covers a vast portion of forests ranges falling under the jurisdictions Madhuban, Khukhra, Pirtand, Dumri and Nimiyaghat police stations in Giridih and Topchachi and Tundi police stations of Dhanbad district, we have the informed the  police authorities concerned about our plan,” said MSB member Ravilal Hemram.

“Out of six centers of Hazaribagh wildlife division, which include the sanctuaries of Hazarbagh, Parasnath wildlife sanctuary at Giridih, Lawalong at Chatra, Gautam Buddha at Chowparan, Koderma wildlife sanctuary, Topchachi wildlife sanctuary at Dhanbad and Udhwa bird sanctuary at Sahebganj, the Sendra festival has so far been spotted only in the unreachable pockets of Parasnath and Topchachi,” a wildlife officer said adding that the department gives special attention to the areas known for hunting.



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