The thunder of drums gets progressively louder and the dancing reaches manic highs. Welcome to the Baba Gal Mela.
Every year the residents of Dhekal village, Madhya Pradesh gather to give thanks to Baba Gal, a local deity. When the locals fall ill and hospitals can't cure them, they fall back on ancient rituals and call for medical help of the divine kind.
Community Correspondent Kurban Damoh gives us an isight into this age old ritual. Himself a member of the Bhil tribe, Kurban is aware of how the heritage of his people is slowly slipping away as people increasingly move away from villages in search for livelihoods.
"Poor healthcare facilities is a problem my community faces. That is why rituals like this exist. While I think these are a great heritage, I aslo feel that they come with certain adverse affects like rowdy behaviour because of alcohol consumption and debt to pay for rituals. If these can be removed it would make things better," says Kurban.
About the Partnership: The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme and Video Volunteers have come together to create the Community Correspondents Network. The videos generated by the network will be able to highlight voices from the margins, providing skills to social communicators to provide advocacy tools to community based organisations.
It is estimated that the area of Pelma, Chhattisgarh holds about 40 million tonnes of coal that the corporates are eyeing.
If not for the intervention by our community correspondent, the poor villagers would have continued paying taxes for a land they didn't own.