June 5 was celebrated with great gusto by the people living in the remote villages surrounded by the famous Kauleswari Mountain in Chatra District.
Prior to the day people walked (Padayatra) from village to village not minding the scorching heat, a radius of 5 kilometers to create awareness on environment. We spent five nights in village homes and walked the days and got nourishment from the people. “The poorest people of the Bhuia (Musahar) community generously shared food with us” said Reshmi Devi.
Public meeting and cultural program
The culmination of the Pada Yatra – June 5 was a hugely attended public meeting (over a thousand people from 12 villages) under a gorgeous canopy of an ancient Bodhi tree full of leaves. The children and the youth mesmerized the audience with their creative cultural program giving due respect and prominence to the environment. Some women leaders from the community spoke with passion on the various ways the environment is being destroyed. Village administrative committees were formed to look after the forest and land.
Chetna Bharati, Chatra