Fine, jail for monitor lizard skin Goa music instrument

Panaji, Using the skin of the endangered monitor lizard for the ghumat, a traditional clay drum, during the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival will attract a fine of Rs.25,000 and a possibility of up to six years in jail, the Goa government cautioned Thursday.

A statement issued here said ghumat aficionados should use goat skin instead.

The ghumat is a specially designed clay pot which has the tough, treated skin of a monitor lizard stretched across its mouth. Finger-tapping across the skin gives a distinct sound and beats from this instrument are traditionally used to accompany aartis during Ganesh worship.

"The department of conservator of forests has made efforts during the past years to come up with alternatives to manufacture the ghumats so as to protect the monitor lizard. It has now been found that goat skin is a good substitute," the statement said.

It said monitor lizards are a highly endangered wildlife species listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and its slaughter was "detrimental to wildlife biodiversity in the state".

Ganesh Chaturthi, the state's most popular Hindu festival, will be celebrated from Aug 29.

Write your comment now