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Assam villagers steal wooden mills to please rain god
Published on 19 Mar. 2009 12:57 AM IST
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Fed up with the prolonged dry spell in the region, villagers of Maloibari in Assam, resorted to a unique way of stealing Dhekis (a wooden mill to crush grains) for appeasing the rain Gods to bring rain in their region. The young boys adopt a traditional way of stealing Dhekis at night from the people's houses to satisfy the Rain God, Varuna. Most of the people of this village are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Since last year, they haven't received a single drop of rain. This has seriously affected the people of the village. As per the traditional belief of the villagers, young boys gather at night, have a night feast and then start with the process of stealing the Dhekis. After stealing, they place it upside down by digging it half inside the ground. They believe that this acts satisfies the Rain God. "All of us have stolen these Dhekis from the local's houses and have hidden at this place. We are doing this to pacify the rain god so that he grants us rain. We are doing this because people in our area earn their livelihood through farming and irrigation and with no rains. It would be difficult for them to make their both ends meet. We are doing this as per everyone's beliefs," said Kamal Krishna Deka, a member of the stealing group. Even if the boys are caught, nobody opposes them as they do it for the benefit of the whole village. In the morning, the villagers gather near the place where the Dhekis are half dug in the soil and carry their Dhekis with them. "Although this is the era of science but still we farmers have a special relationship with nature. There has been no rain since last year and we are facing a serious crisis. To solve this crisis, we had to take into consideration the traditional beliefs, as we believe that stealing of Dhekis would bring rain," said Bhubakanta Kumar, a resident who's Dheki was stolen. The Maloibari area is known for its good cultivation, but now the situation is unfavorable for the farmers as paddy fields, small ponds, water reservoirs and drains are getting dried up.

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