Udaipur : Taking a step forward towards curbing the social evil of ‘Mautana’, the district administration in Banswara has initiated an awareness movement through gram sabhas to sensitize the tribal population to give up the age old custom that has claimed hundreds of lives in past decades. At all the 346 gram panchayats in the district, gram sabhas were held on Monday wherein villagers took oath that neither they would give or receive money as compensation in the event of accidental or untimely deaths in the area.
“ We have been trying to raise awareness on Mautana among the less educated tribal population. People are being informed of the bad effects of the custom in terms of increasing litigations, violation of peace & order in the area etc” collector Bhagwati Prasad told Udaipur Kiran. Special gramsabhas were called at the behest of the administration and resolutions were passed with full majority in support of the motion. Locals turned up in large number in remote areas like GangadTalai, Bagidaura, Sagdod, Borwat and many other places where pradhans and sarpanchs etc too had come to extend their support in creating awareness. People raised hands and took pledge while at several places, affidavits were filed.
Mautana: is an old tradition prevalent among the tribal communities of South Rajasthan. ‘Mautana’ has been made of two words- ‘Maut’ and ‘Ana’ which means “death money” or money claimed as compensation for an unnatural death. The tradition started among the tribal people with the noble intention of providing relief to the victim’s family when families clashed with each other in the remote areas to gain control over resources. However, over the years, it has turned into a dangerous evil with an addition of another custom ‘Chadhotra’. If a family is unable to pay Mautana, the victim’s side would simply destroy its property, forcing it to migrate from the village in what is known as Chadhotra .