Thousands turnout at Vishal Tusu Mela in Gopal Maidan

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    Jamshedpur, Jan. 21: The tribal populace in and around the city assembled at the Gopal Maidan in Bistupur here on the occasion of Vishal Tusu Mela on Thursday.

    Organized by Jharkhand Vasi Ekta Manch, the event saw presence of Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, BJP MP from Jamshedpur Vidhut Varan Mahato, former Jamshedpur MPs Shailendar Mahato and Abha Mahato, Ichchagarh MLA Sadhu Charan Mahato, organizer Astik Mahto, Ghathsila MLA Laxman Tudu, Ramesh Hansda and others.

    The fair was inaugurated by the CM by paying tribute to the martyrs Sidho-Kanho.

    The participation at the annual Tusu mela is growing in leaps and bounds every year as the footfall seems to increase with every passing year.

    The former Jamshedpur MP, late Sunil Mahto, started this mela to promote tribal culture. The annual Tusu mela turned out to be a jamboree of tribal artistes and performers not only from Jharkhand, but also from neighboring states like Odisha and Bengal, said, chief organizer of the fair Astik Mahato.

    This mela was started in the year 2006 with the aim to promote traditional tribal culture and tribal artisans. The participants have increased with every passing year and the capacity crowd has also been brilliant’, said Astik Mahato.

    The footfall crossed over ten thousand this year. People started flocking in groups from the morning carrying their Tusu idols and the choudals. While one side of the field was lined up with dozen-odd giant Tusu idols, it was the towering choudals that adorned the other side of the field.

    Made out of hay and bamboo sticks, a choudal is an elongated structure like a temple with figures of tribal deities on it.

    The fair drew tribals from Seraikela-Kharsawan, West Singhbhum, East Singhbhum and as far as Purulia in Bengal and Mayurbhanj in Odisha.

    Guests were served tribal delicacies like gur pitha in leaf bowls.

    Winners of chaudal (a bamboo structure 40-60ft high worshipped as a symbol of happiness) and Tusu idol competitions were given cash prizes.

    ‘Tusu’ is similar to harvest festivals, which take place in other parts of the country, and is celebrated by preparing food from newly harvested crops.

    ‘Tusu’ is stated to be symbolic emblem of goddess ‘Tusu Devi’, made of cardboard and decorated with colorful paper and female dolls, some reaching a height of even ten feet.

    This is prepared by group of chaste unmarried teenage girls a week before the actual festival and kept at the village for everyone to admire.

    The day-long mela (fair) threw traffic out of gear in Bistupur. The main road in Bistupur near the Regal Building and Gopal Maidan witnessed traffic jams for more than couple of hours.

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