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Asia’s largest tribal fair commences at Medaram in Telangana; PM greets

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Hyderabad: Lakhs of devotees from various parts of the country participated on the opening day of the four-day biennial Sammakka-Saralamma Jatara, hailed as the Kumbh Mela of the south, which commenced at the tranquil Medaram village in Telangana on Wednesday.

According to reliable sources, an estimated crore of devotees are expected to participate in the jatara, recognised as Asia’s largest tribal fair, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Tamil Nadu, besides Telangana.

Tribal priests will conduct diverse rituals for Sammakka and Saralamm, the tribal deities, during the jatara, while devotees will present offerings such as jaggery, flowers, and other articles to the deities.

Authorities have made extensive arrangements for the convenience of devotees attending the jatara, including a two-kilometer-long bathing ghat with numerous taps and approximately 5,600 temporary toilets to prevent open defecation.

Adequate arrangements have also been made for the supply of drinking water supply to the devotees.

The state road transport corporation has deployed more than 6,000 special buses from various points in the state for the benefit of the devotees, and the South Central Railway will operate special trains.

The state tourism development corporation has introduced helicopter services from Hyderabad to Medaram.

A notable feature of the jatara is its commitment to plastic-free celebrations.

Tight security arrangements have been implemented, with 14,000 police personnel deployed to ensure an incident-free jatara. About 432 CCTV cameras were also set up to monitor the situation.

Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari and Director General of Police Ravi Gupta, who reviewed the preparations with district officials at Medaram, expressed satisfaction with the arrangements.

The government has also declared holidays for schools and colleges in Mulugu district from February 21 to 24. District Collector Ila Tripathi issued orders to this effect.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings to the people on the occasion of Sammakka-Sarakka Medaram Jathara in a tweet, saying, “All the best for the inauguration of this Sammakka-Sarakka Medaram Fair, one of the biggest tribal festivals, a vibrant expression of our cultural heritage that will live forever. This fair is a great combination of devotion, tradition, and community spirit. Let us salute the Sammakka-Sarakka and remember the spirit of unity and valour that they exemplified.”

Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan and Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy are also expected to participate in the jatara.

President Droupadi Murmu is scheduled to attend the Sammakka-Saralamm Jatara in Medaram village on February 23, as per official sources.

Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy are also expected to visit Medaram on the same day.

Ministers Seethakka, Konda Surekha, Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, and Ponnam Prabhakar held a review of the arrangements. Seethakka is supervising the preparations while staying in Medaram.

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