Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat- A mission to strengthen the fabric of emotional bonds between people of India
City journalists interface with cultural spheres of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman Diu
The Voice of Chandigarh News | H.C.Gera(Special Correspondent)
The Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme was launched by the Prime Minister on 31st October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to promote engagement amongst the people of State / UTs in the country so as to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures, thereby securing stronger unity and integrity of India.
As a part of this programme a team of journalists from Chandigarh visited Dadra & Nagar Haveli. It was a memorable visit arranged by Department of Public relations U.T. Chandigarh, where the media people interfaced with the vibrant culture and the glorious manifestations of the area. The heritage and culture, customs and traditions of the people of Dadra & Nagar Haveli gave enough exposer to understand the bonding between people but more importantly the tribal population of Dadra & Nagar Haveli gave us the insight of life styles of the various tribes.
On the very first day before following the itinerary we got an opportunity to interact with Deputy Director Tourism, Dadra & Nagar Haveli. A brief interaction with him led to understand the geography and cultural practice of the area. The curious questions on various issues raised by fellow members were appropriately answered with a smiling face by the officer. It would be out of place to mention that the Deputy Director Tourism had already worked as a Judge in the judicial complex Chandigarh.
Visit to Tribal Museum Silvassa
The visit to the fascinating tribal museum was a feast to eyes. One could see the ornaments, musical instruments along with fishing and hunting gadgets and other agricultural artefacts. The colourful masks displayed tastefully which gave an insight of the life styles of the tribal people. The vibrant culture of the tribes was clearly and visibly attractive. The life size models at the entry of the museum really projected the life styles which conveyed silently through gestures of the models.
The tribes of Dadra & Nagar Haveli
A brief account of various tribes in the area was explained by the guide but more than was the interaction with localities that made us wiser about tribes and their way of life.
Koknas is derived the name from Kokans which extends from coast to the foothills of Western Ghats. They are well built people. Men wear Dhoti upto knees and a waist coat and shirt and a turban on their head whereas the women wear colourful sarees. They are also known as better paddy cultivators.
The name Dhodia is derived from Dhoondi which means a small thatched hut. This tribe lives in the huts. The men wear white dhotis upto knees and women wear blue sarees in a typical way. Interestingly the men wear white cap on their head and the ornaments consist of earrings and silver chains around their waist. The women adorn colourful necklaces and metal bangles in their hands and thick karas around ankels. The population of this tribe is about 16.90% of the total tribal population. They are also known as good cultivators and have their own agricultural equipment.
The varlis are a tribes which are of non-Aryan origin who lived in the country near Vindhyas and Satpurasfrom where they came south towards kokan. Their original home is Dadra & Nagar Haveli but they are also found in Valsad and Dang districts of Gujarat and thane and Nasik district of Maharashtra. The Varlis constitute 62.94% of the total population. Their traditional dress is lion cloth and a waist coat and turban. The women use white metal ornaments and wear bright coloured sarees.
Neertal Tourist Complex-Doodhani Lake
The journalists from Chandigarh visited Doodhani lake by ferrying from Neertal complex. It was a visit to be cherished for a longer time to come. This ferry carries the tourists and other people from the tribal areas free of cost. Surprisingly the tribal boys now no longer look like the way they used to be. These young boys with their fancy bikes travel from one place to other and engage them in job pursuits. The local lunch prepared by the tribal community was quite savoury witch was enjoyed thoroughly. This was followed by the folk dance arranged by the Tourism department Dadra & Nagar Haveli. The musical instrument played by one person with a scintillating dance performance both by tribal men and women with traditional dress deserved appreciation. The evening was more enchanting while ferry back. The Doodhani lake presented a panoramic view with dark clouds and lightening in the sky.
Vasona lion safari park
A visit to Vasona Lion Safari Park was interesting and enjoyable. This park is spread in 20 acres of land and is a part of Dadra and Nagar Haveli Wild life sanctuary. In this park we were able to spot Asiatic lions through the van fitted with net mesh screen. The guide informed that they are three in number.
Swami Narayan Temple
Daman Ganga is known for religious sentiments of the people of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Swami Narayan temple is located on the banks of river Daman Ganga. This temple is popular for Gujarati devotees. We had a chance to pay our obeisance at the temple in the evening. A controversial board fixed at the eastern entry gate near staircase was irritating which depicted that ‘the women not to go beyond this point’
The other place witch was of major tourist attraction Nakshatra Van where the plants representing nine planets were beautifully displayed.
Churches of Daman & Diu
While on a visit to in Daman & Diu one could see the glimpses of Church at Nani Daman with a fort like entry and another Church in Moti Daman. The interior of church at Moti Daman was quite fascinating while the fort-like entry of Church gave us ancient look. Atop one could view the Daman Ganga merging in the Arabian Sea.
Interaction with Mrs. Pooja Jain, IAS and the secretary tourism Daman and Diu was brief but useful. She expressed her happiness when she came to know that journalists were from Chandigarh as she too had been visiting city frequently to meet the close relatives every year.
Indeed an environment was created through this enchanting visit at Dadra & Nagar Haveli wherein the journalists experienced the various cultural practices, traditions and unique way of life of the tribes.
This is why we call it ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’