As rapid urbanization cuts into India’s forests, animals and humans have come into increasing conflict. Apart from in the wild, the human-wildlife conflict is most concentrated and impactful within agricultural regions bordering the wildness.
The villages of Saraipali and Gourmudi, which border the vast forests of Chhattisgarh have recently been victims of this human-animal conflict. Over 35 farmers of these villages have suffered heavy crop losses as wild boars pillaged through their paddy fields. Gangadhar Pradhan, a victim on this conflict has lost almost 1-acre of his paddy crop. “Harvesting becomes difficult because these animals trample all over our fields, flattening and destroying our crops,” he explains.
In the past year, the Chhattisgarh government has given a compensation of Rs 5.75 crore in 18,843 cases of crop damage by wild animals. While the farmers should rightfully be compensated, wildlife departments in India should also look at employing preventive measures such chilli smoke, a cost-effective technique used by Maharashtra farmers to keep wild animals away.
The forest officials have examined the damage on Pradhan’s field and has assured him that he will get a compensation. However, any such action is yet to be taken. Call the concerned forest officer Mr. R K Singhsisodiya of Tamnar, Chhattisgarh on +919893724740 and demand that these farmers of Chhattisgarh are rightfully compensated.
Community correspondent Rajesh Gupta reports from Chhattisgarh for Video Volunteers.
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