It was a shameful tradition. In the name of Bartan, 5 lakh barber families of Odisha were forced to wash the feet of the upper caste members during marriages. Refusal invited ostracism. Baghambar Pattanaik, a retired school teacher, spoke out against the evil practice. His fight in courts and before the state and national human rights commission resulted in the Odisha govt. banishing Bartan as an illegal practice.