Hyderabad: A recent research report called the ‘State of Environment, Telangana’ by the Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) has praised the plastic-free drive at the Nagoba Jatara in Adilabad, and has called for similar measures to be taken for the Samakka Saralamma Jatara, popular as the Medaram Jatara. The latter is the largest tribal cultural festival in the country, while the former is the second largest.
Telangana is the largest South Indian State for tribal populations, with nearly 10 per cent of the State’s population coming from at least 24 tribal communities. Adilabad, Warangal, Khammam, Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts are home to lakhs of tribal people.
The report – prepared in conjunction with the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change – points out that the tribal people are fond of nature, and are easy to persuade in terms of environment protection measures.
“Tribes have been educated by the State government on environmental issues, on biodegradability of plastic, and health problems related to environmental degradation. Teak leaves are being used to serve food during tribal festivals now. It is a source of considerable pride that even with meager availability of facilities, the Nagoba Jatara is organised successfully as an environment-friendly event,” the report notes.
The Medaram Jatara attracts more than one crore people and thus has ‘huge environmental implications’, the report added.
“Pollution from air, water, soil, noise and light is causing damage to environment in Medaram during the jatara, with huge environmental implications, including severe and irreparable damage to flora and fauna. Noise pollution from cars, buses and trucks, vehicle horns and loudspeakers are damaging the serene environment of Medaram at an alarming rate.
One of the leading priorities of the State government should be to manage and control the solid waste, and prevent the pollution of water, air and soil at Medaram during and after the jatara, more so because of its growing popularity as a pilgrimage destination,” the report said.