RANCHI: Much to the relief of the district administration, the 'Patthalgadi' done by villagers of Chitramu in Khunti with the consent of the Gram Sabha, a year ago, was finally pulled down by the villagers themselves on Thursday.
The decision to do away with this distorted form of tribal tradition was taken in the same Gram Sabha last week after the villagers realised that they were being misguided by anti-social elements for some ulterior motives.
Notably, the distorted 'Patthalgadi' was done for the first time in Khunti at Chitramu and it also became the first village to get it removed after performing a puja.
"We removed it following a decision by the Gram Sabha. People had been misguiding us saying that our lands would be seized by the State Government if we allowed government officials to enter the village. It was an incorrect interpretation of the Constitution," said a villager Lillu Pahan.
Of late, the villagers realized that they were being led by the wrong people who would take the village back by several years for want of development, he added.
A memorandum has also been handed over to the Deputy Commissioner Suraj Kumar that villagers were with the State Government as they want development, he added.
A 12-point demand letter was also handed over to Suraj Kumar which included solar lights and PCC Road for the entire village along with fencing of Sarna and other places of worship in their village.
Elated with villagers' enthusiasm, the District Administration has also decided to organize a Vikas Mela (Development Fair) on July 21 where villagers from the adjacent villages will also be invited to take part and benefit from it.
Khunti remained disturbed for the last few months after Patthalgadi was started. But villagers started feeling disenchanted after 'Patthalgadi' supporters were named in the Kochang gang rape where five women activists were punished for helping the State Government in creating awareness against the practice. Taking advantage of it, the District Administration conducted intensive awareness programme among and told villagers about the benefits of Government schemes meant for them.