Mahakumbh: To woo clients, pandas digitising family tree records
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Members of the Prayagwal community, popularly known as pandas, here are gradually taking to computerising the records of family trees in a bid to cater to their "yajman" (religious clients) better during the Mahakumbh.
Although the number of such pandas is minuscule, those in the know claim that the practice would spread once the community begins to shed the fear of the new technology. "It is a new phenomenon that is gradually taking shape. Out of a total of around 10,000 panda families, only a dozen of pandas have decided to get their records digitised. These are generally those who have large clientele. But, with Mahakumbh nearing, the trend may catch up," said Rajendra Paliwal, president, Prayag Dharma Sangha.
The Sangha came in existence in the year 2000 and has been taking up the cause of pandas, whose sole source of livelihood is performing religious rituals for devotees.
Paliwal, however, clarified that the Sangha has not floated any formal project for pandas to get their records digitised. He added that against the claims of pandas having records of family trees dating back to the Mughal era or even before, the effective records were available for only 100 to 150 years. Nevertheless, they draw their lineage from the era of Lord Ram.
Rasik Krishna Tiwari, one of the few pandas getting his records digitised, said: "The record of family trees we have is very old, voluminous and bulky. Every time, we have a devotee, we have to take out the entire book, get the information manually and then it is kept back in a trunk. During Mahakumbh, when devotees will arrive in large numbers, it will become a tedious job. That is why I decided to get the records digitised. All I will have to carry is a laptop now." Tiwari, who caters to devotees from Chhindwada and Sivni districts of Madhya Pradesh, added that his exercise is almost 50 per cent complete.
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