no farms or bulls, Gosikhurd PAPs take to ‘Tiger Pola’
Times of India, Oct 5, 2015
NAGPUR: Pola is a bull-worshipping festival celebrated by farmers, but
have you ever heard farmers coming forward to observe 'Waghacha Pola'
In a rare show of solidarity with tigers, over 5,000 villagers gathered
to celebrate 'Tiger Pola' in little known Gothangaon near Kuhi, 60km
from here, a village on the outskirts of Umred-Karhandla Wildlife
Sanctuary (UKWS). Gothangaon is one of the ranges of UKWS.
As a gesture to protect tigers, the villagers installed a statue of
popular tigress of the sanctuary, Chandi, which has delivered cubs four
time and brought the sanctuary into limelight. The spot where the
statute has come up will be converted into a garden soon.
"Chandi is our icon and we want to portray her on the lines of 'Machli'
of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan," says Rohit Karoo of
Wildlife Conservation and Development Centre (WCDC), a NGO working for
"Gothangaon is a project-affected village. Farmers have lost their
fields and subsequently cattle and bulls to Gosikhurd dam. When there
are no bulls and cattle, celebrating Pola has no significance. So we've
decided to conserve tigers by celebrating 'Tiger Pola', because tigers
can provide us employment," said Gothangaon sarpanch Kailash Hudme.
Hudme said 'Tiger Pola' will be an annual event in the wildlife week to
depict tradition and culture with a message to save tigers. "I want to
motivate youngsters to save the wildcats and tell people that tiger is
our friend," he added.