Every year, a three-day festival called the ‘Barna Parv’, is organized in the villages of western Champaran’s Tharuhat, aimed at environment protection. During these days, people make sure that not even a twig is broken by mistake and hence, stay away from trees and plants, weeds and all kinds of fauna. They come out of their houses only when it is extremely necessary. This leads to an unannounced lockdown like situation.
All over Tharuhat, the lockdown is initiated after worshipping ‘Vandevi’ or the Goddess of the forest and ‘Brahmasthan’, the area under a tree, on different pre-decided dates. The Barna Parv is an inspiring tradition, especially when steps are being taken, all over the world, to protect our environment. The people of Tharuhat are celebrating this festival with utmost enthusiasm for years in a row now.
As told by Deepnarayan Prasad, Central President, Indian Tharu Welfare Federation, and Jagdish Mahato, Gumasta, Soharia, every year, between August 30th and September 30th, this novel festival is celebrated, dedicated to the environment.
To ensure that nobody leaves the village during the Barna Parv and uproots weed and plants, 8 guards are installed in all the four directions and boundaries of the village, to keep an eye. These guards look after the villages, by guarding the boundaries of the village, wearing turbans and yielding sticks in their hands. If a person breaks a twig or a datoon even by mistake, the villagers impose a fine of Rs. 500 on them.
To prevent the lack of vegetables at home, the women of the village make sure to collect vegetables from the trees and plants or buy them beforehand, prior to the beginning of the Barna Parv.