Sadasivpur (S.S.Pur) is 7kms away from the main town Balimela. Which comes under Chitapari-III Gram Panchayat (GP), Malkangiri district, Odisha, India. There are around 206 families living here. This village is connected to two National Highways: the upper part is connected to Balimela-Jeypore main road and the lower part of the village connected to Balimela-Malkangiri main road. It is a beautiful thing that most of the children here are getting education and they know the value of education. A good number of the educated person are doing job in different fields, rest of the villagers are farmers and few are daily wagers. And you love to see the whole process of farming, celebrating festivals and functions. People also help each other in farming, festivals and functions. The awesomeness of the village lays in this togetherness and helpfulness.
There is a great and memorable history behind our village. Our Village was established on 14.04.1965 by Sri Sadashiv Triparty (Former Chief Minister of Odisha) and because of his great contributions to my village, the villagers wanted to keep its name as Sadasivpur in memory of his contribution. Before that it was known as Puruna-Balimela. Sadasivpur was a dense forest having lots of wild animals before the human settlement. Then by the government order machines cut the forests off and built houses. Maximum people have been migrated from the area of Jalaput, Kanta, Lampi (Koraput district) during the flood.
Machkund Hydro-Electric Scheme (MHES) which is in operation since 1955. Therefore, this hydroelectric dam was built in Jalaput. This was the main reason behind all the sufferings and migration of people and establishing our village. Before the present dam it was a dense forest and river surrounded by many tribal villages. When dam was built for the water reserve then the water level started increasing and slowly the local villagers those who are in and around Jalaput they started leaving their own places. Many of them have lost their house, pet animals, crops etc. Because of this flood most of the people started moving to different places. When Mr. Tripathy became the CM of Odisha he thought he could do some favor to the migrants and he did it. Mr. Tripathy has a great role to establish our village. He brought 100 families from there and gave 5 acres’ land, cows and oxen, few farming materials and home to each family. Initially government also provided food for them later on people started cultivation. Now family are increased and reached around 206 families. He not only provided help to the people of our village but also extended to the nearby villages. Many families settled in Malkangiri district during that dismal situation. We shall always be thankful to him for everything he has done for us.
Our village consist of people belonging to different religions and caste. However, the population of Hindu and Christians are more than that of any other community. The Christians here are the people who are converted from Hinduism before around fifteen years. As far as the caste system is concerned the Harijans fall under the Scheduled Caste and Paraja, Gadba Paraja, Parenga Paraja, Bhumia Paraja as Scheduled Tribe. Rest of them are General and, OBCs.
Talking about some darker side of our village, it has been witnessing a huge amount of caste feelings since 1965. For example, a person belonging to Scheduled Caste cannot enter any house owned by a Scheduled Tribe person. The Scheduled Tribe people even not allowed to touch water and utensils belonging to their counterpart. The festivals and worshiping of village goddess are conducted without any caste feelings but ironically when it comes to cooking all the three tribe cook their food separately. They are also not allowed to dine together. There is a temple of goddess Swaraswati in the upper sahi (upper part) of the village. Every year during the Swaraswati puja “Anna Bhaga” is prepaid by the villagers but it is only distributed by the people belonging to General class. Everyone has his/her own right given by the Constitution of our country. Then what is the significance of the discrimination based on a person’s caste? Due to this feeling of caste many families, friends are separated and the bonding is hampered.
Suppose if there is a marriage function in a Scheduled Tribe family, they provide the Scheduled Caste all kinds of cooking materials so that they can cook their own food. They are invited to give blessings to the newly married couple but not allowed to take food together. These days the Scheduled Caste people go and dine in the functions which take place in the houses of the Scheduled Tribe but the later refuse to do so. Even if a person eats in a house owned by Scheduled Caste, he or she needs to go through a typical social norm called “Jati Misiba”, before entering into their own house.
There was a time when no police men ever entered our village as all the decision, whether good or bad, were taken by the educated people of the village. They never had a University degree but they understood what is good and what is bad for them. They participated in village Panchayat and passed appropriate judgment. They had faith and hoped to build a better society. Each and every case, whether class between family, land disputes, broil in neighborhood etc. where all looked after by the Panchayat. The ‘Udulia’ (Eloping with the purpose of marriage) cases were decided by the Panchayat most of the time. Even police officer denied to file any complaint and suggested to solve the case in the village Panchayat. The Panchayat had its own rules and regulations following which it passed its decision and police officers never interfered. But these days it is quite normal to see a police man entering into the village and arresting anyone at any time of the day.
Now let’s see an interesting aspect of our village. There are eight ponds dug with the purpose of farming fish. Among those eight ponds only two are used commonly by the villagers while the rest are personal use. All the villagers collect money and buy small fishes and through them into the pond. And they fish during the “Chaitra Parba’ (one of the biggest festival of our tribe) and distribute among themselves.
In the lower part (Tala Sahi) of the village there are three important trees each having its own significance. Men, in their leisure time, gather under Tamarind Tree discuses many things. There is also a small bridge near the tree on which people sit and gossip. They, surprisingly discuss politics despite of all the prejudice they have within themselves. They are well aware all the activities of the party which is in power. They collect all the data from the newspapers and other such sources. They also discus farming and they can predict the weather out of their long experience. These qualities make them the sons of the soil.
After finishing their daily chores women of the village gather under the Banyan Tree. They gossip about the affairs at home and about their relatives. They also discus about the items they cook in their respective places and share the recipe among each other. They are always curious to know about the current affair of the village and ponder on the caste of the people coming from other villages. They do so with an intension of developing any kind of family relation possible with them. The women gathering under the banyan tree never run out of topic. If any incident big or small occurs in the village, they spread it as fast as fire in the forest. The supernatural is another favorite topic which they like to discus and every woman has her own version of story.
Another important tree is Cassia Tora which stands at the ‘Sadar’. It plays an important role in providing shade to the people during the Panchayat session. There are few stones around the tree which serve as chairs during the meeting. I have been watching those stones right since my childhood and I am pretty sure they have been there since eternity. The tree witness all the decision taken during the panchayat meeting. The people debate on the decision taken on the meeting and give their own commentary. The tree and the stones observes everything but in silence and never speak a word. As they are naturally unable to do so.
There are basically two outdoor games played in our village that is cricket and volley ball. Man of all age prefer playing volley ball and every year they also bring home the champions trophy. During the tournament players from different villages come and participate. And people gather in hundreds to watch the game. Their excitement boosts the energy of the players and they get motivation to perform well. There is no suitable playground for playing cricket and the boys go to the farming field during the summer time to play. The kids of village prefer playing the native games like Chaka Chaka Bhouri, Kabbadi, Itikili Mitikili, Gilli Danda, Chauka Bara, Marble etc.
Child marriage is a serious offence. The legal marriageable is for boys and girls are twenty-one and eighteen respectively. But most of them are married off while in their teen age. And they also make babies. This practice of child marriage is nothing but the result of lack of education and awareness. However, the poor economical background of the parents sometimes forces their children to quit schools. And later the solution of all the problem is found in marring them of. This happens in most of the villages of Odisha.
The use of abusing language leaves bad impact on the society. Those who use such language while any quarrel do not think about its effects on the children present around them. They should be taught Bacon’s essays in order to improve their day to day life. The women of the village best at quarreling. They do not bother about the time of the day and in some morning my sleep has been broken due to their hot quarreling sound. But few of them also have good understanding who do not participate in any kind of quarrel. Rather they try to settle the quarrels taking place around them.
Using slangs during quarrel is a heavy bad impact on the society. Those who are doing quarrel they cannot think that what their children will learn if they will use slangs in front of their children. They do not care about it. Sometime I think, Bacon’s essays should have to teach them for improvement in their behavior. My village women’s are best in doing quarrel. Not every women using slangs few have very good understanding they could not quarrel they go to the opposition lady house and settled their matter silently. They do know how to handle the situations. You know, some days I heard quarrel in the early morning. And because of them all of a sudden a good sleep broken down.
During monsoon men start their day working in the field while the women busy themselves in their households. Previously people use to own cow’s oxen and buffalos which helped them in farming but now a day the arrival of machines has reduced human efforts. Therefore, number of domestic animals decreasing rapidly. People no more take interest in maintaining them.
The village has no comparison. It is beautiful in its own way: its individual characteristics make it stand apart. People live here in harmony. Our village is not technically advance like cities but whenever one visits here, feels immense pleaser in the serenity of the village. The freshness in the air devoid of any pollution revives the visitor’s soul.
Jati Misiba: The ritual an outcaste need to follow before coming back to his/her own tribe.
Udulia: To elope and marry without the concern of the family.
Sadar: A big surface area where the village Panchayat takes place.
Chauka Bara: A game, all most similar to Ludo, where two or four players race with their respective coins on a board of five into five square to reach the center. The movement of the coins is controlled by throwing four cowrie shells.