Get together for the month of April was organized in Uppinakudru village where the volunteers participated in annual Maari festival at a local Bobbarya Temple. Uppinakudru is located at a distance of 6 Km towards north from Kundapur in Udupi district. Uppinakudru literally means ‘Island of Salt’. This beautiful village situated on coastal Karnataka was once popular for trading of Salt and Sea food. Bobbarya is known as the God of the seas and hence worshipped mostly by members of the fishermen community as their tutelary spirit or guardian angel. Bobbarya koola is celebrated by the fishermen community in different part of the coastal region to obtain the blessings of Bobbarya for a good catch of fish.
Maaripooja: The Maari-pooja is traditionally held in many villages of coastal Karnataka. It is also likely that the original concept of driving out the epidemics is being interpreted in different ways, like addition of concepts of rain and fertility in these days. The cult of emphasis on rains may have been derived from prevention against the draught situations. During outbreak of epidemics to chase out the ‘maari’ out of village limits such rituals are performed. In the fishing villages, the Bhajana Mandira undertakes singing of bhajans and running corner to corner to chase the ‘Maari’ out. Such events have played a significant role in providing psychological relief to the people by removing fear.
After attending the Maari festival, volunteers were taken for a boat trip in the beautiful back waters around famous Babbukudru Island. Coordinators conducted 1-1 talk with volunteers and feedback collected for the improvement of the program. Volunteers enjoyed this one day event and had opportunities to interact with locals during the festival.