Tusker menace causing slump in marriage proposals in Chhattisgarh (India)


Rashmi Drolia, Times of India

Date Published

RAIPUR: Rajni (name changed) and her family would have never imagined that her groom would turn down the offer few days before marriage because of wild elephants, which is symbolic to lord Ganesha considered to be lucky if remembered in beginning of any function according to Hindu mythology.

People in more than a dozen villages haven’t seen a marriage procession for past several months as the grooms’ side is too skeptical about their safety amid herds of elephants venturing in the region.

Instances of families visiting the girls’ village and fixing the marriage have come to the fore when the boys’ side later refuses either on spotting tuskers during the visit or learning about elephant’s attack through hearsay.

Parts of Mahasamund district have been witnessing movement of wild tuskers since July last year which has not only created terror among locals but also loss of crop, lives and now groom.

Talking to TOI, Ramakant Druv of Gurudih village in Mahasamund said, “We consider lord Ganesha as fortune bringer and worship his identical animal elephant but the animal has created so much disturbance that the girls in our village are facing break ups due to the terror of elephants. One such family has witnessed three grooms turning down the offer after fixing the marriage.”

The neighbouring villages like Parsadih, Lehangar, Khadsa, Kukradih and whole belt of Sirpur including 32 villages are largely affected with sudden venturing of elephants in the region from July last year, who never frequented before, locals said.

Recently, a groom’s family was asked to stay back for the night as it was late for them to return after dark. They were though surprised and terrorized both at the same time and spent the night at Gurudih, but never returned saying they would wish to have any girl from this village.

According to Dhruv, the grooms visit and observe teams of forest department and police patrolling in the region and querying the villagers, this sends chill down their spine about the seriousness of the issue.”Wondering about their safety when they visit with the marriage procession or later after marriage, the grooms’ family withdraws from all the formalities and returns,” Dhruv added.

Others who are already married have to take a halt in between if they spot a herd of elephant on their way or if it gets dark.

Not only girls, even locals are finding it difficult to find brides for their boys as no one wants to get their daughters married to a place full of risks.