Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Rani farmers keep vigil from �tongi ghars�

By Correspondent

MIRZA, Oct 21 � The farming landscape on the periphery of Rani Reserve Forest has been brought under the night-long vigil with the paddy harvesting season approaching. The farming fraternity who have been living on the fringe of forest are busy these days in erecting makeshift �tongi� ghar on the trees to guard the standing crops from marauding elephants.

The economic condition of these farmers, which is built on agricultural activities has suffered setbacks for years now as the plots of land under cultivation of varities of rice are left at the mercy of the largest harbivore. This time also the beleaguered cultivators are keeping a close watch on their paddy fields during night at their own perild since wild elephants are reported to have ventured out to the plain area in search of food.

To keep a watch on the elephants, nearly 200 of such have been made in Rani area. A structure that can reportedly house, 2-to 6-member elephant watcher groups some �tongi ghars� can be viewed near the elephant corridor. The Bhalukmari-based �tongi ghar� under Jarsal RF, which is highly prone to attacks by crop raiders, is a case in point. A cultivated plot measuring 14 bighas is being guarded by Brajen Kalita, a 32-year-old youth, from such a �tongi ghar�.

Armed with makeshift torches of bamboo the lion-hearted farmers while speaking to The Assam Tribune have informed: �Wild elephants that come down in a huge herd are much easier to drive away than the smaller group�. Damage, however, done by a 2-to 3-member smaller group is collateral in estimation as they go on the rampage.

At Nalapara area located near the Jarasal RF a plot of land has suffered depredation a few days ago as a 3-member herd of crop raiders traversed the area. Meanwhile, the 3-month-long vigilance by the farmers is massive drain on their battered economic status in that the ill-fated cultivators could hardly afford the required expense. �Besides firecrackers, we need 2-litre kerosene a night which cost us more than Rs 50�, informed Rabha. A group of farmers have made a plea to the Rani Range office to provide a helping hand in this regard. �We are keeping our fingers crossed to tide over the crisis without any unfortunate incident,� they said, expressing optimist of getting official assistance.

Mention may be made here that the elephant landscape has suffered damage following the deforestation drives which have been carried out in the poorly protected reserve forest belt of Rani Forest. Not only then, ideal habitat but migratory routes have been subjected to tremendous pressure.

The problems being faced by the farmers are the making of illegal timber dealers who are alleged to have easy access to the forested area with destructive designs. The entire plain area along the forest track has become elephant depredation zone. Human lives taken so far by the crop raiders in Rani area substantiate the fact.

A substantial number of such traditional structures have also been erected in areas of Loharghat forest, Jupangbari, Gutipathar, Tengakhal, Rajapara, Mataikhar, Katrabari, Hatigar and Puzala to name a few are also witness to such �tongi ghars�. Farmers who have frequent encounters with the wild neighbours, remain vigilant toward off the elephants.

A group of ageing farmers consisting of a mahout who seem to have an understanding of the behaviour of wild elephants exhorted, �Instead of being aggressive, we should keep calm as friendly treatment help assuage the marauding mammal.�

This problem of alarming proportion requires remedy. Malady in the turf of the largest land dwelling mammals should be dealt with seriousness both for the well-being of the sufferers as well as for the wild neighbours. It is time the authority concerned stemmed the wrongdoings in their territory as food scarcity in the habitat is a factor which is attributable to the confrontation situation in the mainland area.

Next Story
Similar Posts
Rani farmers keep vigil from �tongi ghars�

MIRZA, Oct 21 � The farming landscape on the periphery of Rani Reserve Forest has been brought under the night-long vigil with the paddy harvesting season approaching. The farming fraternity who have been living on the fringe of forest are busy these days in erecting makeshift �tongi� ghar on the trees to guard the standing crops from marauding elephants.

The economic condition of these farmers, which is built on agricultural activities has suffered setbacks for years now as the plots of land under cultivation of varities of rice are left at the mercy of the largest harbivore. This time also the beleaguered cultivators are keeping a close watch on their paddy fields during night at their own perild since wild elephants are reported to have ventured out to the plain area in search of food.

To keep a watch on the elephants, nearly 200 of such have been made in Rani area. A structure that can reportedly house, 2-to 6-member elephant watcher groups some �tongi ghars� can be viewed near the elephant corridor. The Bhalukmari-based �tongi ghar� under Jarsal RF, which is highly prone to attacks by crop raiders, is a case in point. A cultivated plot measuring 14 bighas is being guarded by Brajen Kalita, a 32-year-old youth, from such a �tongi ghar�.

Armed with makeshift torches of bamboo the lion-hearted farmers while speaking to The Assam Tribune have informed: �Wild elephants that come down in a huge herd are much easier to drive away than the smaller group�. Damage, however, done by a 2-to 3-member smaller group is collateral in estimation as they go on the rampage.

At Nalapara area located near the Jarasal RF a plot of land has suffered depredation a few days ago as a 3-member herd of crop raiders traversed the area. Meanwhile, the 3-month-long vigilance by the farmers is massive drain on their battered economic status in that the ill-fated cultivators could hardly afford the required expense. �Besides firecrackers, we need 2-litre kerosene a night which cost us more than Rs 50�, informed Rabha. A group of farmers have made a plea to the Rani Range office to provide a helping hand in this regard. �We are keeping our fingers crossed to tide over the crisis without any unfortunate incident,� they said, expressing optimist of getting official assistance.

Mention may be made here that the elephant landscape has suffered damage following the deforestation drives which have been carried out in the poorly protected reserve forest belt of Rani Forest. Not only then, ideal habitat but migratory routes have been subjected to tremendous pressure.

The problems being faced by the farmers are the making of illegal timber dealers who are alleged to have easy access to the forested area with destructive designs. The entire plain area along the forest track has become elephant depredation zone. Human lives taken so far by the crop raiders in Rani area substantiate the fact.

A substantial number of such traditional structures have also been erected in areas of Loharghat forest, Jupangbari, Gutipathar, Tengakhal, Rajapara, Mataikhar, Katrabari, Hatigar and Puzala to name a few are also witness to such �tongi ghars�. Farmers who have frequent encounters with the wild neighbours, remain vigilant toward off the elephants.

A group of ageing farmers consisting of a mahout who seem to have an understanding of the behaviour of wild elephants exhorted, �Instead of being aggressive, we should keep calm as friendly treatment help assuage the marauding mammal.�

This problem of alarming proportion requires remedy. Malady in the turf of the largest land dwelling mammals should be dealt with seriousness both for the well-being of the sufferers as well as for the wild neighbours. It is time the authority concerned stemmed the wrongdoings in their territory as food scarcity in the habitat is a factor which is attributable to the confrontation situation in the mainland area.