Monday, June 21, 2021

Adivasis gear up for Kumram Bheem commemoration

Kumram Bheem Asifabad: Ethnic tribes, locally known as Adivasis, are gearing up for the commemoration of tribal legend Kumram Bheem’s martyrdom at Jodeghat village in Kerameri mandal on Wednesday. They will perform traditional rituals and pay tributes to their hero at the memorial in the interior habitation located between two valleys. Elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the event.

Pendur Mohan Rao, president of the organising committee of the commemorative event and Madavi Raghunath, convener, said the 78th martyrdom anniversary would be observed on new moon day as per the customs of ethnic communities. Elaborate arrangements including shades, seating, temporary toilets and dining facilities are already in place, they said.

Authorities of Integrated Tribal Development Agency-Utnoor and Kumram Bheem Asifabad district have already conducted meetings with officials concerned for making arrangements. They instructed the executing agency to speed up works relating to doubling of road from Hatti to Jodeghat and directed the officials to take steps for avoiding inconvenience to the participants.

However, with the election model code of conduct being in force, the tribals will miss Girijana Darbar. They can air their grievances and seek solutions from authorities concerned by submitting petitions. The TRS-led government sanctioned construction of a memorial for the martyr and a museum at a cost of Rs 25 crore in 2014.

Initially, family members of Kumram Bheem, grandson Sonerao and his family members would pay homage as per the tradition of their community. They will perform customary rituals at three wooden flags that symbolize Persapen and Avvalpen, gods of Gonds at the memorial. Elders of the village and leaders of various Adivasi organisations will take part in the event.

Thousands of Adivasis residing in far-flung areas belonging to Telangana, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh will descend upon the valley by taking out processions and playing traditional musical instruments. They also recall the supreme sacrifice of Kumram Bheem and his aides and pay tributes to the legend. Cultural programmes and tribal dance forms are showcased to mark the occasion.

Kumram Bheem had attained martyrdom for waging a war against the then Nizam rulers, seeking rights for Adivasis over Jal (water), Jangal (forest) and Jameen (land). He was killed by the army men of the then Nizam who had ruled Asifabad Taluq, in 1940. His 14 followers and community members were gunned down in the historical incident.

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