Photo Essay

Life in rural village

Love is blind

According to the latest census report 70 percent of India's population lives in the villages. Our villages, although in a much lesser degree, resemble a compact, extended joint family where one can feel family bondage and thus an inbuilt social security evolves naturally. Villages are considered as food bowl of our country and provide raw materials for the main industries, particularly the employment-intensive ones.

Villages offer the beautiful natural landscapes and the proximity to the nature which come as blessing to those who have long been in the city pent. The photographs shown in the photo essay are different lives in rural areas, the paddy fields, landscapes, houses and so on in Odisha, the eastern state of India.

The villagers are very simple, clean in their heart and lovable personalities. Though they lead a poor life style, but their hospitality, attention towards the guests are praiseworthy. One can feel the same if visits made to the villages. If someone shares love and happiness, I am sure he will receive much more.

People in Odisha, living in rural or urban areas, live in families. Those who have to stay away from family at distant places of work, usually come to spend their holidays in their village homes. The joint family system is largely in vogue in villages, but is breaking up gradually. People living in their places of work often live with nuclear families, but do not like to break their ties with the joint family if they happen to be members of the same. Arranged marriages are preferred in Odisha, though the modern culture of love marriages are also being a part of social life. The typical "Odia" house in a village has mud walls and a gabled roof on a wood or bamboo frame thatched with straw. The rooms are contiguous with a verandah in the front opening out to an oblong or square yard known as danda and a backyard known as badi to serve as the kitchen garden. A comparatively prosperous house, of a middle class family, comprises alignment of rooms on the four sides (khanja) arranged round an inner courtyard known as agana with a separate cattle shed outside. The better constructed houses are furnished with mud ceilings built on bamboo or wooden frames to be used for storage of household articles as well as for the cooling effect in summer. Village life has an impressive charm about it. A spectacle in rural Orissa with the farmer driving his pair of bullocks along the palm-fringed roads or through the fields in the lovely setting of the countryside leaves an indelible impression on the mind.

Odisha has one of the largest concentrations of tribal population 22.13% in the whole country constitutes about 7 million. Tribal communities differ from all others in many respects, their distinctive features being clan organization and territorial exogamy, classes social structure, youth dormitory, colourful rituals and folk art, music and dance. The 62 tribes in Odisha vary in their size, degree of socialization and economic patterns. Kondhs tribe constitutes nearly 1 million are numerically the largest in the state; the Santals are among the three largest and advanced tribes in the country. The major tribes living in Odisha are the Santab, Oraons, Gonds and Kondhs. Most tribal people ate basically working people, working to gather food and fuel or engaged in agriculture which is often at a primitive level or maybe in some primitive craft: Their work is usually of subsistence type.

Attempts are being made to develop the rural areas in environment and culture- friendly ways so that the sociocultural fabric is not destroyed and no harm is done to the environment, keeping particularly in view the present-day concern about atmospheric pollution and climate change. Moreover, effort must be on to provide for the health and educational uplift of the rural masses so that human capital is formed in right manner. Small-scale and handicrafts industries need to be promoted to create unemployment and underemployment and to eradicate poverty. Institutions are also working to provide benefits to the rural people through dissemination of information and education, imparting practical training and removing age-old superstitions. In this way our villages can make real progress as envisaged by the great people like Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, and Swami Vivekananda as they form the backbone of our country.

"Without nature and the environment, we cannot exist. With a healthy environment, we can prosper." Lets' work together for better prosperity tomorrow, wherever we are. Lets us share happiness and love for all.

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3 responses

  • John Tanner

    John Tanner gave props (3 Aug 2013):

    Voted,Excellent story and wonderful pictures

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (6 Aug 2013):

    Wonderful & beautiful work, Saroj! Congrats! voted, of course!

  • Cindy Romero

    Cindy Romero gave props (19 Aug 2013):

    Thanks, saroj, for sharing this interesting story and photos. I especially love the beautiful smiling love in the upper most photo.

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