The tribals in and around the city are gearing up to celebrate Tusu, the harvest festival, with traditional fanfare and gaiety. Under the banner of Jharkhand Ekta Manch, the annual Tusu mela at Gopal Maidan will be organised on January 21. The event turns out to be a jamboree of tribal artistes and performers not only from Jharkhand but also from neighbouring States like Odisha and Bengal.
MLA Sadhu Charan Mahato, convener of the manch said that the former Chief Minister Arjun Munda will be Chief Guest for the fair. In addition, state's former Deputy Chief Minister Sudesh Mahato and state's former Water Resources Minister Chandra Prakash Chaudhary will be present as a special guest.
At the press meet Astik Mahto, social worker Fhanindra Mahato, Kamal Mahato, Vishal Mahato, Ashok Singh, Vijay Mahato, Jagdish Rao, Rohit Mahto, Nakul Mahato were also present.
Cash prizes of more than two and a half lakh rupees will be distributed in the fair. In this sequence, 7 awards for Tusu in which the first prize will be 31000 and the seventh prize will be 5000. Four awards will be given to Choudal. All the recipients of consolation prizes and winners of different categories will also be given cash prize money.
The annual mela that is organised by Jharkhand Ekta Manch at Gopal Maidan is also one of the most sought after fair. People from different places came to the Tusu mela in large numbers.
The festive look of Gopal Maidan attracts one and all. While one side of the field a dozen-odd giant Tusu idols are lined up on the other hand the towering choudals adorn the other side of the field. Made out of hay and bamboo sticks, the choudal is an elongated structure like a temple with figures of tribal deities on it.
"Traditionally, groups of artistes and performers from rural areas visit different Tusu melas and participate in competitions for the best idol or best decorated choudals," said a member of the organising committee. Prizes in galore would distributed to the winners of the competitions.
The young girls prepare the idols of Goddess Tusu with clay and later go to a nearby river where they then sanctify themselves by taking a dip. After taking a bath, the females start praising the Goddess by singing various local songs. These very songs are known as Tusu in Bengal. A plate of rice is also offered to the deity on the occasion, Mahato said.
"Tusu Parab in Bengal does not involve any kind of musical apparatus as such and is enriched by vocal variations only. Having a rich and religious significance, Tusu Parab acts as a medium of devotional expression of the girls", he added.