Bhedval Village (Buldana) (Maharasthtra), May 25 : While people in cities refer to media reports to have an idea about the weather in the days ahead, farmers in Bhedwal village of Maharashtra's Buldana District prefer to knock on the doors of the highly respected Wagh family for the weather forecast.
Following a 300-year-old tradition, farmers attend an annual ritual that sees a member or members of the Wagh family making declarations about the weather.
The Wagh family, which is today in its third generation, retain the faith of farmers living in usually drought-affected Vidarbha. Maharaj Ramdas Wagh's family at Bhedwal organizes the annual ritual.
Farmers have deep faith in this family's weather predictions for ensuing agricultural calendar that predicts whether it would be a drought or bumper crop.
In this forecast, betel leaf, betel nut, wheat, barley, cottonseed, various cereals and pulses like Moong and Urad Dal are put in an earthen pot, full of water, which in turn is placed in a hole dug in the soil.
Every year this forecast ceremony is held usually in the evening of Akshya Tritya as per Hindu calendar. The day hold great importance in Hindu culture and the following morning, crop inspection is done very diligently.
Farmers don't sow the Rabi crop or anything until the farmers get the entire information from Ramdas Wagh Maharaj family here.
"I am coming here for past 10 years. All the forecasting here is true, whatever Maharaj forecasts, it is always proved to be true. We are doing farming according to his prediction only. This has been the result for past 10 years and it has been very good," said Gopal Sable, a farmer.
Meanwhile, for this year, the Wagh family has forecasted that this year the rainfall will be very good, there will be high rainfall in the last month, which can also damage the standing crops.
"The crop of barley, rice, wheat will be very good this year...the rainfall will vary. It will be high in some areas and low in some other areas," said Saragadhar Wagh, the present forecaster and descendant of Maharaj Ramdas Wagh in Bhedwal.
For this year, there is a warning pertaining to chances of natural calamity and danger for the government on the economy front. However, the silver lining the dark clouds are provided in the prediction about Rabi crop being good. By Robien David