Jagatsinghpur, Aug 3 (LocalWire): Ignoring COVID-19 restrictions, farmers in remote coastal villages of Jagatsinghpur district performed the “Benga Nacha” or frog dance in order to appease Lord Indra for getting good rains this year.
Farmers and agricultural labourers are worried due to inadequate work due to inadequate rainfall.
Nearly 20,000 migrant returnees have returned from different states during the course of the pandemic and are living in pathetic conditions due to non-availability of work.
This being the peak period in which labourers had hoped to generate some income through paddy cultivation work, inadequate rainfall has hit them hard as the cultivation work is getting delayed.
Due to scanty rainfall and drying of water level in different water resources, a drought like situation looms large with cracked fields and withered crops in different areas of Jagatsinghpur district.
In Kujang, Naugaon, Balikuda, Tirtol, Biridi, Erasama areas, rain-fed paddy fields have developed cracks and the crop has been damaged due to scanty rainfall.
Being thus harried, farmers and labourers have resorted to the old tradition of frog dance hoping that it would bring rain.
The villagers believe that the rain God won’t be able to tolerate the croaking of the dancing frogs and will definitely bring rain.
“The ritual involves bathing the frogs with turmeric water and smearing them with vermillion, after which they are tied. This causes them to jump and croak.
The tradition of frog dancing has been carried out in the villages for hundreds of years,” the villagers added.
It may be noted that paddy crop is being cultivated on 86,220 hectares of land in Jagatsinghpur district.