Devotees walk on fire for rain in Jharkhand

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Ranchi, April 13 (IANS) Faced with a heat wave and the resultant water crisis, people in Jharkhand are trying to propitiate the gods by walking barefoot on fire in state capital Ranchi and elsewhere.

“This year, the annual Manda festival assumes significance as Jharkhand is facing a water crisis. Devotees walked on burning coals to appease Lord Shiva to seek good rainfall to end our water woes,” Raj Kumar Mahto, organiser of the religious ritual, told the media here on Wednesday.

One such fire walk was held in Chutia locality of Ranchi on Tuesday night as part of the Manda festival.

“We prayed for good rainfall as the state is facing an acute water crisis. We have to depend on municipal corporation water tankers for potable water. The situation is alarming. We hope Lord Shiva will listen to our prayers and improve the situation,” said Srikant Munda, one of the people who participated in the fire walk.

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Ranchi, once the summer capital of undivided Bihar, has recorded maximum temperatures of above 40 degrees Celsius in April.

On Tuesday, the Jharkhand High Court sought a report from ward commissioners in Ranchi about the water supply situation in the city.

In the wake of the water shortage, the water level in dams of Hatia, Rukka and Kanke has gone down drastically.

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