Sukhram Oraon MLA, sportsman, recently a student and now a Chhau dancer has become an idol of sorts for the youth and politicians in his Chakradharpur constituency in Jharkhand.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha legislator who had hogged headlines for taking the matriculation exam last year along with his son and securing a first division, has now made it his mission to revive the dying art form of Chhau.
Oraon is busy practicing Chhau with his childhood friends in Banmalipur.
The Lattu Oraon Kalyan Samiti (LOKS) has planned to organise a three-day Chhau dance programme at Oraon’s native place. Several dance groups would stage mythological stories in dance form from July 4-6. “I had performed a dance last year with other groups. This time I will perform it in my village. It will be a great experience,” a visibly excited Oraon said.
He said he was participating in rehearsals and it did not affect his daily political routine. “Rather, it gives me mental satisfaction. I am still devoting time for social uplift and other day-to-day work. The Kharsawan style of Chhau is popular in Chakradharpur and most children learn it during their school years. I also learned the dance based on epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is our tradition and people are interested in it,” said Oraon.
“Although Chhau is famous all over the world, dancers are facing financial difficulties. As director of LOKS and a local legislator, I appeal to Chief Minister Madhu Koda to ensure financial help to Chhau dancers,” he said.