Call Of Chakulia Pandas Heard No More In Rural Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The once familiar call of Chakulia Pandas roaming around villages in Odisha and reciting ancient religious poems is not heard these days.

Gone are the days when these lower class Brahmins were seen walking barefoot along village roads, carrying palm leaf umbrellas, bags slung on the shoulders and a brass bowl in their hands. They mostly came during the Odia months of Kartik, Baisakh and Magh.

These mendicants never begged for alms during their visits and accepted whatever was offered by the villagers. But that is past now.

“Due to the spread of education in Odisha, implementation of the rice at Rs 1 per kg scheme and several pension schemes by the state government, the economic condition of the people in rural areas has improved. This could be the reason why most Chakulia Pandas have left their profession,” said Bhagaban Das (56) of Patkura in Kendrapara district.

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