A. Tragic Stories of Human WildLife Conflict
Ram Kali Mahato, 37 is a single mother of three children. Her house and farm lie at Chilaha Village, Nawalpur at the Bufferzone of the Chitwan National Park. She owns seven katas of land which is her only source of her income. The farm land she owns is her only way to feed her children.
She had sown wheat on her farm. Due to the increased number of the deer and other species. This year from March to April, all her crops was raided by rhino, deer and other species. All the wildlife species had come from the Chitwan National Park. Due to the increasing number of species and individuals, the incidents of the crop raiding have increased. The impact of the damage of the wildlife has been increasing in the past years due to the increase in the number of incidences and the intensities of the crop raiding.
This April, due to more than 10 incidents of the crop raiding by rhino and deer species all the wheat she had sown had been damaged. ‘I do not know what I am going to feed with my kids this year.’ says Ram Kali. Though she has visited to the Park Office several times, to receive her compensation of the crop raiding the park officers are not so supportive of providing her the compensation. She has to travel around 70 kms to reach to the Chitwan National Park Office. It costs around Rs 300-400 for a one-way travel for Ram Kali to reach the park office. Despite of more than 10 visits of Ram Kali to the Chiwan National Park Office, requesting to receive the compensation. The situation is even worse, as all the officers at the park authority are males. Dealing with many personal issues in her life, she is facing the problem of low confidence. Due to this, it becomes really difficult for her to argue with the park officers requesting them to facilitate the procedure of receiving the compensation from the government.
B. Case of sexual harassment by the army officers at the Buffer Zone of Chitwan National Park
Sharmila Kumal is a women from the indigenous ethnicity. Fishing and collecting wild vegetables like ‘Neuro’ and ‘Mushroom’ are her source of livelihood. One normal morning, she had visited the nearby forest. She was unknown that the forest lies inside the boundary of Chitwan National Park.
She was collecting ‘Neuro’ as usual for food for her family. She had collected almost half the ‘doko’/basket of neuro. Then she was met by two army officers who were patrolling around the forest. The army officers asked her why she has been collecting ‘neuro’ from the national park. Before she could answer their questions, those army officers started scolding her using derogatory words. She was alone in the forest so she did not have the courage to respond to them. The officers verbally abused her and snatched her half-basket full of neuro. She pleaded with them not to seize the neuro because their kids will go hungry.
The army officers pushed her away from the basket. They chases her away to few kilometers till she reached her village. Sharmila says ‘I saved myself from death that day. They could have done anything.
When I came home, I talked with all the women right based organizations and other organizations that work in the sector of human rights as well. But her accident was not recognized much and she did not get justice of the accident. She is really hopeful that the rights of the local people residing near the forests will get secured and all the people will be able to collect food, fodder, and fish from the forests.