Human-Elephant Conflict Renders 21 Families Homeless
In another instance of Human-Elephant Conflict, a herd of elephants has entered and damaged parts of the village of Raitrai, Dharamjaigarh, over the past 14 days. The herd destroyed 17 homes in its wake rendering 21 families homeless.
Photo: Sajal Madhu,
The tiny hamlet has temporarily relocated itself to the neighbouring village of Poriya Panchayat Bhavan. Every day the villagers traverse a kilometre and a half, back and forth from their their temporary settlement to their village, in order to repair their homes. While some brave the flooded Samarsuta river during the course of their journey, others, on days of severe flooding remain stranded, choosing to spend the night in their broken homes.
Sajal Madhu, Sanctuary’s Mud On Boots Project Leader was at the scene to understand the issue and assist the locals of Raitrai. The DFO Pranay Mishra was informed of the incident. Upon reaching the location, he spoke to the villagers and assured them compensation for their losses. Rice was distributed to the villagers as a form of immediate relief.
In light of the rising Human-Elephant Conflict, the villagers were briefed on handling situation arising with elephants in the future. They were given guidance on affectively minimising damage and staying safe. They were also cautioned of elephant behaviour — why elephants get agitated and the importance of never instigating an elephant or a herd.
Human-Elephant Conflict has steadily been on the rise in the state of Chhattisgarh, as human settlements increase, mining intensifies and forests are razed, changing the migratory and feeding patterns of elephants. Habitat destruction and fragmentation has forced huge herds of these otherwise gentle giants into human settlements. While corporate conglomerates plough the land, man and animal alike struggle to consolidate their space.
As of the present-day scenario, awareness campaigns have become imperative in order to apprise people of the situation and help create a deeper understanding of these majestic creatures and mitigate conflict.
Author: Siddharth Jalan