Gujarati folk singer Geeta Rabari dedicated a song to Prime Minister Modi after meeting him at the Parliamant. Rabari said that she belongs to the Maldhari community who live in jungle. She said it was only after her father received a post card of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” that he sent her to school.
Rabari also said that she met the prime minister for the first time when she was in school. The prime minister gave her Rs 250 after she sang a song and asked her to keep practising.
Maldhari are a tribal herdsmen community in Gujarat. The literal meaning of ‘Maldhari’ is “keeper of the cattle”. They are the traditional dairymen of the region, and are said to have supplied milk and milk products to the palaces of kings.
Maldharis have a rich culture. Men wear gold hoops and buttons in their ears. On their milking hands, many wear silver rings embossed with the Siva lingam. The milk that dribbles over the ring is an offering to the god, replacing the need to make oblations at a temple.