Gong that keeps this Odisha village going
At a time when technology decides the way we communicate with others, a remote village in Odisha is using a makeshift gong to communicate important information to the villagers.Paasa, a small village in Tajungia panchayat, is located on a hilltop at distance of around 35 km from Daringbadi in Kandhamal district. One has to walk up 3 km to reach this village as it is not connected by a proper road. It is out of reach of mobile phone networks as well. For more than five months now this village has been functioning without electricity supply as the defunct transformer has not been replaced.In such a situation, the sound of the gong continues to be a means of communication for around 35 tribal families living in the village. They have made the gong with a piece of metal left behind during the electrification work in the village. It is fixed to a pole.Sound ideaAccording to the village community leader, Kumar Sunamajhi, in case of an emergency like need to carry a patient or a pregnant woman to a hospital, the gong is beaten eight to 10 times. It is beaten once when someone dies at the village. To call the villagers to attend the funeral, the gong is beaten twice. For a call for village meeting, the gong is beaten five times. If the gong is beaten thrice, it is a call to the villagers to attend a mass prayer at their small church.Nagara Majhi, a resident of Paasa village, said the gong has united the residents of the village as they immediately come to know about important events and emergencies due its sound.