Kendrapara, May 26 (LocalWire): Soaring fruit prices have hit Sabitri Brata festival this year as fruit supplies have been hit due to Cyclone Fani.
During the festival, married Odia women observe fast to pray for their husband’s long life; and they break it at dusk by eating fruits.
Fruit supplies have been hit in Coastal Odisha as Fani uprooted hundreds of mango, jackfruit, banana, coconut and other fruit-bearing trees. The spike in fruit prices is pinching the pockets of common man.
Sabitri Brata will be observed on June 3.
“This is a difficult time for coconut and banana farmers. The impact will surely be felt on their income,” said Harihara Pradhan, a banana farmer from Garadapur.
One kg of mango costs between Rs 50 and Rs 100, depending on the quality, but the poor are unable to afford it. Similarly, prices of one kg of jackfruit costs between Rs 40 and Rs 70.
“The fruit rates are beyond my budget. I can’t perform the puja in a proper way due to high fruit prices,” said Mita Das, a housewife who lives Kendrapara.
Mohammad Amin, a fruit seller in Kendrapara, said: “We used to procure mangoes locally in summer. But due to the short supply, we are getting our stocks from West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh; hence the prices have gone up.”
“Though mangoes from Andhra Pradesh have started arriving at the wholesale markets, still the prices are not falling,” said Saroj Das of Kendrapara.
Some people, though, have sounded positive. “I think prices might return to normal after a few days, but whichever way we have no choice,” said Jiban Mohanty of Kendrapara.
As part of the rituals, women reads out or listens to Sabitri Brata Katha, a poetic rendition of how Maha Sati Savitri saved her husband from the clutches of Yamraj through her devotion; and they offer fruits to the God of death to pray to him for the long life of their husbands, said scholar Dr Basudev Das.