Mahouts, kavadis touched by 'jumbo' treatment

Warm farewell planned for Dasara elephants at Palace today

Hitherto, nobody used to know when they leave for their respective homes after the culmination of ten-day Dasara festival. The precedent of hosting a lunch was started by Shobha Karandlaje while she was Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and District-in-charge minister and conducted Dasara festival successfully for two times. The mahouts and kavadis remember her till today for regularising their services. This demand, previously, was not bothered by any officer or any minister.

So the mahouts and kavadis had threatened to boycott Dasara festival if their demands were not met. At that juncture, Shobha used her good office and prevailed upon the chief minister to regularise their services as Yeddyurappa was holding portfolio of forest. After fulfilment of demands, the mahouts honoured Shobha.

On Tuesday, the district administration had hosted lunch for them. As many as 250-300 persons enjoyed the meals. The children too had sumptuous meals along with officials of forest department and officers from other departments. The money being spent on lunch may be a pittance when compared to crores of rupees spent on cultural programmes during Dasara, but it would definitely carry a message of good hospitality of the Mysoreans.

All the mahouts and kavadis would leave Mysore on Wednesday at 9 am, after a small ritual to be held in the palace premises. District-In-Charge Minister S A Ramdas will be attending the function to extend a warm send off for them. The Dasara elephants would be taken back to their respective camps in trucks.

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