NAGAON, Dec 25 - Hundreds of farmers and villagers of Hatikhuli Ranghang village in Nagaon district near the Karbi Anglong border, who had to shed tears for decades due to man-elephant conflicts that continued to torment them during the harvesting season, have now enough reasons to smile � thanks to a novel initiative by a husband and wife duo of Chapanala area in Nagaon district and an 86-year-old social worker.
Significantly, the couple � Binod Bora and his wife Meghna Mayuri Hazarika � who have dedicated their lives to preservation of Nature and wildlife, received no government fund for the initiative but only the goodwill and support of hundreds of villagers. The couple has been encouraged and supported for this noble job by Pradip Kr Bhuyan, a noted social worker who had famously fought for updating the NRC in the State. The couple and Bhuyan prepared an effective strategy to mitigate the ongoing man-elephant conflict in the district: by the sweat of their brows, they cultivated paddy in around 400 bighas of land and a specific variety of grass in around 200 bighas for the wild elephants in Hatikholi Ranghang village this year.
Around 500 villagers from the village also volunteered to donate their agricultural land and worked hard for two-three months for the mission, said Binod Bora (Dulu) and his wife, speaking to this correspondent.
Bora, who has been engaged in rescue of wildlife as well as generation of awareness in this regard, claimed that their mission tasted great success this time as their strategy worked � the herd of wild jumbos created no panic in the region this year compared to previous years.
As a result, the villagers, too, benefited from the strategy as they were able to reap a rich harvest from around 40,000 bighas of their own paddy field, said Bora, beaming with satisfaction.
Bora said that behind the success of this mission lie the sacrifice and support of Bhuyan, who extended financial aid for the entire mission. Besides, forest officials from the Nagaon Forest Division and the Conservator Office, Tezpur circle, also extended their technical support, he added.
Bora said that in the last three months, he and his wife had spent nights in a tongi ghor (a tree-house constructed by farmers in an agricultural field) to make sure their hard work bore fruit.
�It will be exciting for us to cultivate food for the wild elephants on a larger scale to confine them within the jungles. Methinks it will be the best way to lessen the rising conflicts between people and the giant pachyderms in the district,� he said, adding they have plans to cultivate paddy and grass in another 400 bighas of land in the elephant corridors.