New Delhi : The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has sanctioned ₹2.26 Crores for various activities pertaining to Medaram Jathara 2022. Medaram Jatara is the second-largest fair of India, after the Kumbh Mela, celebrated by the second-largest Tribal Community of Telangana- the Koya tribe for four days. This year it is being celebrated from 16th-19th February, 2022.
The activities for which funds have been sanctioned by the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry include promotion of Medaram, Tribal Culture and Heritage, inclusive of the execution of the protection wall to the Sanctum of Chilakalagutta and Murals on the walls and the Cultural Complex – Model Koya Tribal Village in the premises of Museum, convening a weeklong State Level Tribal Dance Festival, strengthening of the Museum, and so on. Other essential activities that will be undertaken comprehensively are the Research and Documentation of the Minor Koya Festivals, organization of various State Level Competitions, Economic Support to the MSME Units among others.
Considering the footfall of the festival and its auspicious significance, the Jathara was declared a State Festival in 1996. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, for the Jatharas held in the years 2018 and 2020, released 2.00 Cr in each year. The funds were utilised for branding of the Medaram Jathara and its organizational activities such as a weeklong State Level Tribal Dance Festival, producing Film Video Documentaries, highlighting Medaram Jathara through Print and Electronic Media, strengthening of the Medaram Tribal Museum and the Cultural Complex amongst others. Further, the Ministry also sanctioned ₹ 7.00 Cr in 2019-20 and ₹ 5.00 Cr in 2021-22, under Article 271(1) for establishing infrastructure like multi-purpose buildings in and surroundings of Medaram for utilising those as community shelters during the Jathara period and as agriculture godowns in other seasons by local Tribals.
Under the AzadiKa Amrit Mahotsav, the Government of India has announced that tribal culture and heritage will be the cynosure of 2022. Medaram Jathara is conducted in honour of the Goddesses Sammakka and Saralamma. It is celebrated once in two years in the month of “Magha” (February) on the full moon day. Several Scheduled Tribes of different villages assemble there, and lakhs of pilgrims visit the Mulugu District to celebrate the festival with full gusto. At present, the Jathara festival is biennially celebrated and organized by the Koyas in collaboration with the Tribal Welfare Department, Government of Telangana.
The four days’ Medaram Jathara is the most auspicious event for the lakhs of devotees who wait for two long years to behold such a rare occasion. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs’ continuous support of this festival aims to generate awareness and a harmonious bond between the visitors and the Tribal communities of Telangana. Moreover, it assists the tribals to preserve their unique Tribal Traditions, Culture and Heritage and promote their tribal History on a global scale. It is also an embodiment of the spirit of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat.