Daily Archives: April 14, 2013

Danda Nacha fails to fade with time

With the passage of time, many folk dance forms have vanished into oblivion but Danda Nacha (punishment dance) continues to hold relevance in Ganjam, Boudh, Kandhamal and Sambalpur districts. It is performed in ‘Chaitra’ and begins 21 or 13 days prior to Bisuba Sankranti.

Despite the dance form having stringent rituals, the number of participants is increasing every year.

According to historians, ‘Danda Nacha’ started 400 years back when the kings punished people, who did not pay taxes, by making them walk barefoot throughout the village. The intention was to inflict pain. The villagers, unable to revolt, prayed Goddess Kali to give them the strength to bear the punishment.

The artistes who perform the dance are called as ‘danduas’ and there are over 100 distinct groups of ‘danduas’ in various districts. Here, ‘Danda Nacha’ is held for 21 days wherein the ‘danduas’ worship Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva and stay away from their family members.

Interestingly, although the dance has a number of restrictions and rituals, there is no bar on the caste of danduas’. A Scheduled Caste can even participate by wearing a sacred thread during the period.

The dance is performed in three phases namely ‘pani danda’, ‘dhuli danda’ and ‘agni danda’. The dances are performed in front of houses of those who invite them bound by a religious vow. While performing ‘dhuli danda’, ‘danduas’ start the performance in the morning and bear the pain of sleeping on sand during scorching heat.

During sunset, they enter ponds and remain there for over an hour as per the rituals. The last phase, ‘agni danda’ begins at the midnight during which Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva are worshipped.

A group consists of 30 to 800 ‘danduas’ and each group is controlled by a ‘patta dandua’ (bhukta). He confines himself to the temple of Kali and comes out on the day of ‘Bisuba Sankranti’ after the last rituals are performed by his group members. Bhukta plays the crucial role by hanging himself upside down over a fire pit near a Kali temple till drops of blood ooze out from his nose and falls into the fire.

The ‘danduas’ after completing the 21-day ordeal, visit the Kali temples to offer prayers on the day of ‘Bisuba Sankranti’.

Congress chairpersons in three new NACs

Sunita Bag of Congress was declared elected to the post of Chairperson of Attabira NAC unopposed here on Saturday. The post was reserved for SC (woman) candidate and the announcement was made by Bargarh Sub-Collector who was officiating as the election officer.

Although the Congress had the option to field Bilasini Naik of the party who won from ward-9, reserved for SC, it settled for Sunita.

A resident of Bhalupali under ward-3 of Attabira NAC, Sunita said her priority is to work with all the 11 councillors for development of the NAC. She has completed Plus Two and is married to Phagnu Bag, a salesman of a medicine store. She said provision of drinking water, road connectivity, sanitation and street lights would be her thrust areas.

A first timer in electoral politics, Sunita attributed her success to her mentor and Attabira MLA Nihar Mahanand and  people of her ward. Her supporters and Congress workers celebrated her victory soon after the results were announced.

Nuapada: Sudeshana Suraj (26) of Congress was elected the first Chairperson of the Nuapada NAC. Although the post was reserved for ST (woman) and another Congress nominee Lileswari Majhi had won from ward-8 reserved for ST (woman), the Congress leadership led by Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das opted for Suraj who had won from ward-1.

For her, providing basic amenities to people is the top priority.

The Congress had won in seven of the 14 wards under the Nuapada NAC and BJD had to be satisfied with just four wards.

Dhenkanal: Sulochana Behera was declared Hindol NAC Chairperson uncontested. She was elected as Congress candidate from ward-5.

In the NAC election, Congress bagged seven seats while BJD got two, BJP one and Independents won six seats. Congress sources said all Independent candidates extended their support to Sulochana in election to the Chairman post on Saturday. District Congress Committee president NCN Das was present.

Rajkishan Patel has been selected by NCA for the training

Rajkishan Patel has been selected by NCA for the training

UBI opened its 60th regional office at Sambalpur

Regional office of Union Bank of India at SambalpurUnion Bank of India(UBI) opened its 60th regional office at Sambalpur, its second in Odisha. The regional office was opened by H R Khan, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the presence of D Sarkar, chairman and managing director of Union Bank.

This office will cater to the branches of the public sector bank in 15 districts- Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Sundergarh, Sonepur, Bolangir, Boudh, Phulbani, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Nabrangpur, Rayagada, Koraput and Malkangiri. In the Sambalpur region, the bank has opened seven ultra small branches in Bargarh, Malkangiri and Koraput Dists. Under EBT (electronic benefit transfer) model, the bank has opened 149,810 accounts in Sonepur and Bolangir districts only.

In the first phase of financial inclusion, Union Bank was alloted 29 villages with a population exceeding 2,000. The bank claimed to have achieved 100 per cent financial inclusion. The bank on Wednesday also inaugurated its first talking ATM in Bhubaneswar for the visually challenged.

City Bus Service in Sambalpur and Berhampur by June end

The State Government has decided to  introduce city bus services in Sambalpur and Berhampur by June end. Naveen Patnaik the CM asked the officials to work out the details of implementation of the bus service in these two towns. City bus service has already been introduced in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

The CM reviewed the implementation of the package announced by him for urban local bodies which included concretisation of roads within the town, construction of kalyan mandaps and assistance to youth associations. Naveen directed the district collectors to review the progress in the implementation of the package every month.

The CM asked the UD Dept to expedite the implementation of Rs 2,485 cr Japan International Cooperation Agency assisted underground drainage project in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.