After losing gold chain at Bishnoi fair, woman refuses to accept compensation money

Jodhpur: The gold chain of a woman was stolen while she was visiting a fair at Khejarli near Jodhpur. Parsi Devi lost her chain weighing nearly 4 tola, about 47gms (1tola = 11.66 gms).

Snatching gold/silver chains in crowded fairs is not a common affair at the Khejarli fair, such an incident of snatching had taken place for the first time there. For the locals it was the loss of goodwill.

Members of the Bishnoi community contributed and soon collected Rs 1.51 lakh to hand over to the woman. But Parsi Devi and her husband returned the amount, and asked the organisers to use the money to install CCTV cameras on the fair premises to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The couple contributed another Rs 5,000 to install cameras, and the money was handed over to the Mandir trust. Work to install CCTV cameras has begun already. The entire project would cost Rs 2 lakh and members of Bishnoi community are contributing the balance amount currently.

Mela organisers said that the fair is being organised for over five decades, and the women often wear gold ornaments worth lakhs at the fair without any fear.

The fair is organised annually in the memory of 363 Bishnois who sacrificed their lives in 1730 AD while protecting Khejri trees considered sacred by the community, by hugging to them.

(Story by Ravindra Sharma)