Home Conservation News Chhattisgarh's Deadly Human-Elephant Conflict

Chhattisgarh's Deadly Human-Elephant Conflict

Chhattisgarh's Deadly Human-Elephant Conflict

Escalating human-elephant conflict in Chhattisgarh's Raigarh district continues to claim lives. Once known for its thick forests, today Raigarh's natural beauty has been ravaged by coal-mining. Locals say that this loss of wild habitats has consequently pushed wild animals towards human settlements and exacerbated human-wildlife conflict to a fatal degree.

Locals stand in front of a house destroyed by a herd of elephants in Dharamjaygarh. Villagers here are embroiled in severe Human-elephant conflict and suffer grave losses in the form of life and property. Photo Courtesy: Sajal Madhu

Escalating human-elephant conflict in Chhattisgarh's Raigarh district continues to claim lives. Once known for its thick forests, today Raigarh's natural beauty has been ravaged by coal-mining. Locals say that this loss of wild habitats has consequently pushed wild animals towards human settlements and exacerbated human-wildlife conflict to a fatal degree.

Sajal Madhu, Sanctuary's Mud on Boots Project Leader, has recorded three human deaths in just the Dharamjaygarh block of the district in two months alone. A 65-year-old Korwa tribal woman from Dahidod village was killed by an elephant on 28 July, 2018; Sumitra bai, another sexagenarian from Behramar village was killed by wild elephants on 24 August, 2018, during a three-day period in which a herd of elephants moved through the village; and the next day, on 25 August, 2018, 35-year-old Bhuwan Danwar from Bansajar village was killed by an elephant while walking home. Sajal personally visited the bereft families of each of these victims of conflict and is helping them file compensation claims from the government.

Swift compensation from the government is certainly an important step towards alleviating hardship, but it is by no means a solution to the issue of human-elephant conflict.  "There has been little acknowledgement of the scale of human-elephant conflict in Chhattisgarh at either a state or central level. Meanwhile the death toll has been steadily rising. Is the value of human life in Chhattisgarh so little that the government will not spend resources, time and energy to find solutions to the conflict? These brutal deaths and devastated forests should be enough to spur the government into action and not place the onus on the overworked Forest Department alone," said Cara Tejpal from the Sanctuary Nature Foundation. Sanctuary has sent an urgent letter on the issue to the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, urging prompt intervention.

     
     
     

    Subscribe to our Magazines

    Subscribe Now!
     
    Please Login to comment