The tribes soon after the sun rise rush towards the forest to collect the flowers, from the tree species Bombax Ceiba which blossoms during this season, and separate species (Marathi Moggu) from the flower.
Several hundreds of Bombax Ceiba Tree (locally called as Boorugada Mara) can be found in the range of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT) and Nagarhole Range. Tribals belonging to the Soliga community residing in all the five ranges of BRT are permitted to collect this forest produce. Women and children also join hands with men to collect flowers.
While in Nagarhole Range, tribals residing their such as, Jeenukuruba, Kaduduruba, Yarava communities are forbidden to collect flowers as it is a reserved forest area. They collect only those which grow on the periphery of the forest or along the road side.
An approximate each tribal family collects about half kg to 1 kg of Moggu every day during the season. By selling them in open market they fetch sufficient money to meet their expenses for few months. This apart, they collect Cinnamon leaf which is found in some areas.
Rangegowda, a Soliga residing at Boodipadaga, a colony housing 60 soliga families said: “During summer we neither get Amla or honey as both are of poor quality. We collect honey only between April to June as this being the flowering season, bees collect nectar resulting in collection of good quality honey. We collect Amla (Kadu Nellikayi) between November-January. Thus throughout the year we make some steady source of income.”
Another Soliga tribal Veeregowda said: 'We earn better by selling Marathi Moggu. If I sell four kilos I will get more than 1000 Rupees and enough to manage for few months.'
Dr C Madegowda, who has done a research on Soliga community and is also rendering service as Programme Associate, ATREE, BR Hills said that on an average each family collects 2 to 5 kgs of Marathi Moggu which will be sold for Rs 300 to Rs 350 per kg in the market.
Research guide Jadeswamy said: 'Its a good season for tribals to earn some money. The tree also has some medicinal values as observed by the bees and other birds which suck the sap of the tree to rejuvenate themselves.'