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New village deity springs from chikungunya fear

S. Harpal Singh

The debilitating disease makes villagers build Kunti Pochavva temple


  • Villagers appease deity Kunti Pochavva because of the limp in limbs caused by chikungunya
  • Pooled resources result in quick construction of temple and installation of deity



    DIVINE POWER: Villagers of Guda in Jainad mandal performing puja before consecration of the wooden deity of goddess `Kunti Pochavva' at the new temple.

    GUDA (ADILABAD DT.): A new temple devoted to goddess Kunti (lame) Pochavva has come into being on Tuesday at Guda village of Jainad mandal. The institution of this temple was prompted by the debilitating chikungunya scare which has struck the entire 300-odd households of the village.

    Tuesday's elaborately ritualistic event cannot just be passed off as blind superstition because the root cause lay in a crisis-like situation posed by the epidemic. The elders in this village say they had never experienced anything like chikungunya disease though there were many epidemics in the past.

    The illness caused a limp, though temporary, in those afflicted by it, and the rapidity with which it spread made elders in the village think on appeasing Goddess Kunti Pochavva. They vowed to construct a new temple in Her name as an offer of their gratitude to the deity for protecting and saving the villagers from total annihilation.

    As a beginning, neem wood pieces were collected and handed over to the local carpenter to be carved into an idol of the Goddess to be consecrated on installing at the new temple. The villagers pooled in enough financial resources to purchase five goats to be sacrificed at the altar of Kunti Pochavva.

    Early on Tuesday morning, the entire village awoke to a festive occasion. Women adorned their thresholds with `muggu' (rangoli).

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