‘Baraat’ on camels back in Raj, courtesy Covid curbs

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By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, May 5 (IANS)
The trend of people using camels for ‘Baraat’ is back in Rajasthan in the wake of the Covid restrictions on bus travel and marriage ceremonies in the state to check the spread of the deadly virus.
As per the latest guidelines, buses can ply with only 50 per cent occupancy while the number attendees at the wedding parties cannot go beyond 31 under any circumstances. Also, maintaing social distance is a must in such occasions.
Hence, many families in the desert state are taking cue from the age-old tradition of taking out ‘baraat’ processions on camels to transport the groom and the guests to the bride’s place.
“Yes, it can be called a revival of the age-old tradition,” said Anand Singh, the relative of a groom who went along with a wedding party on camels from Bandeva village in Pokhran to Kusumbla village in Barmer, covering a distance of 7 km on April 30.
“It took around one hour for the guests to reach the bride’s place, but those 60 minutes were quite enchanting as we were right under the open sky with an expanse of sand spread all around us,” he told IANS.
In total, there were 31 ‘baraatis’ who rode on 15 camels, following all the Covid protocols. While social distancing was followed, the guests revisited the era of ’70s and enjoyed every moment of the outing, Singh said.
The camels were decked up with nose pins, ghungroos, mirror-fitted cloths and what not, said an excited Singh.
The journey has also sent across a positive message and now more people are expected to take this unique route of using camels to ferry the baraatis to the bride’s place.
It needs to be mentioned here that the number of camels in Rajasthan is dwindling since last many years. As per the 20th livestock Census conducted by the Rajasthan government, the numbers have come down from 3,25,713 in 2012 to 2,12,739 now.
Hanwant Singh Rathore, director of the Lokhit Pashu Palak Sansthan, told IANS: “The youth are disinterested in caring for these animals as they see no profit in it. Secondly, newer modes of transport such as cars, jeeps etc. have replaced camels as the preferred mode of transport.”
The new trend of camels carrying baraatis might give a boost to the ship of the desert.

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