Patna. 14 Jan: Over a hundred students, their parents and teachers assembled at Tarumitra Bio-reserve in Digha to celebrate the vanishing rice-varieties on the rice festival of Makar Sankranti.
Educationist, Fr. Tom Karthanam lit the traditional lamp to initiate the celebrations along with the Director of May Flower, Dr. Jairam Sharma and Ms Karishma Das from Don Bosco Academy. Speaking on the occasion Karishma of class 9 said that most of the traditional rice churas “flattened rice” has disappeared from the market entirely. “Hardly can we collect more than three to four varieties of flattened rice” said she.
The students at Tarumitra offered three rare varieties of rice chura on the occasion: Mirchaiya from Champaran, Kalinga and Sonapiya from Jharkhand, all grown organically in the Tarumitra Farm. “This is the first time I ate these varieties and I prefer the Mirchaiya from Champaran any time!” said Dr. Jairam Sharma. A visitor from Ireland, George too agreed on the taste of the organic rice, “ I am participating in the Makar Sankranti festival for the first time and the ecological connection makes it a very significant celebration.” Said George.
Tarumitra team presented a PowerPoint presentation on the Feast’s connection to the dwindling number of rice varieties. Dr. Mudita Sodder co-ordinated the event and arranged for the participants to partake in the rice festival supplying them with the flattened rice, coarse sugar, Sesame seeds and home-made curd.
Margaret Molomoo, Kanchan Pathak and George Lakra who formed a team to organize the celebration narrated the long story of cultivating the organic rice in Patna. “Over 500 students from schools and colleges participated in the difficult task to cultivation, harvesting and threshing the grains” said Ms Molomoo. Present also were teachers from Atmadarshan, St. Joseph’s and Sanjivan Niwas.
Kanchan Kumar Pathak