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Ceremony to baptize 5 Sasan Simbas

Ceremony to baptize 5 Sasan Simbas
live sasanAHMEDABAD: In their last abode Saurashtra, Asiatic lions have lent their name to humans with many communities using the suffix ‘sinh’. For the first time, however, villagers in Sasan will hold a grand ceremony – naamkaran vidhi – to name five cubs born to lioness Laxmi on May 17 this year.

Following a traditional Gujarati ritual observed by villagers, the names of the five cubs — all of whom have survived the first four months and weigh around 11 kg — will be decided by picking up chits.

Foresters and villagers alike are busy preparing for the naming ceremony to be held on October 2. The state forest department has decided to kick start the Wild Life Week with this ceremony. This will be followed up by a series of events including rallies and seminars on the issue of conservation. It is rare for a lioness to give birth to five cubs and their survival is equally significant . “We want to spread the word about our conservation efforts using this event,” says C N Pandey, Gujarat’s chief wildlife warden. Laxmi’s mother Shyama too gave birth to five cubs on May 3, 2010, at Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh but could raise only three.

Like traditional Gujarati families, this ceremony will be officiated by ‘foibas’ or ‘buas’ – elderly women from Sasan village. These women will pick up a chit with name written for each cub.

Gir has seen a substantial increase growth in the number of tourists triggered by an aggressive campaign led by superstar Amitabh Bachchan. The number of tourists was 1.29 lakh in 2010 has increased to 4.60 lakh in 2012-13 . The forest department has also increased the number of permit per day in Sasan from 90 to 115 per day.


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