Khammam: Sankranti sans Haridas, Gangireddu
We cannot imagine Sankranti festival without Haridas and Gangireddu but due to low earnings and new generation shifting to other professions people will be missing them this Sankranti in the erstwhile Khammam district.
Khammam: We cannot imagine Sankranti festival without Haridas and Gangireddu but due to low earnings and new generation shifting to other professions people will be missing them this Sankranti in the erstwhile Khammam district.
When the Sankranti festival comes, Haridas, who knows every household in the villages, blesses them for good health and prosperous life. But for the last few years, Haridas visits have gradually come down and the glow of the festival is fading.
Now during this corona pandemic, it is unlikely to witness visits by Haridas. K Venkateswarlu (60), resident of the temple town Bhadrachalam village in Kothagudem district belongs to Haridas community, said: "This profession ended with my generation. My children are not showing interest to this profession as they want to settle in other areas. There are 10 Haridas families in the village and they all used to visit each and every house but now no one has patience to visit house-to-house by walk."
He said earlier joint families used to stay together. They used to donate generously and other items but now families are also reduced only parents are here and children are in other places. Nobody is interested in giving donations much like earlier. Many of the Haridas quit this practice and opted to do other works.
According to information, there are nearly 10,000 Haridasu community families in the district.
Out of them only 500 families are pursuing the profession and remaining have left the practice. Many of the youngsters got educated and obtained small-time jobs.
A Seetha Maha Laxmi, a housewife of Kothagudem town, said "a few years ago we were waiting for Haridas and Gangireddu since we wanted to show our culture to our grandchildren but for the last few years they are not coming."
P Rama Rao, a senior citizen of Khammam, expressed worry about the vanishing culture and opined that the government as well as people should protect Haridasu and Gangireddu culture. "My grandchildren don't know who Haridas is and how he is said to be. Due to the Covid pandemic we are not celebrating a single festival from March last year."