Khunti village in Jharkhand was raided by elephants leaving a child injured and causing economic loss to the farmer.
The increasing number of human-elephant conflict cases every year is alarming. In Jharkhand, Khunti village, Suman’s child was injured when an elephant came rustling into her house and trampled over quintal of crops.
The conflict between human and elephants are not only resulting in human deaths, but also a decline in the elephant population. Between 2015 to 2018, more than 1,700 people and 370 elephants have died due to these conflicts. According to World Wide Fund for Nature report, up to 300 people are being killed every year in human-elephant conflicts in India. The expansion of human population and urbanisation is plaguing our environment. The loss of biodiversity is forcing animals to encroach in small towns and villages.
Jharkhand which is highly covered with forest area, 59 people have died every year in the past decade. When an elephant raided the house of Mani Bhengra in the Khunti village in the night, 15-16 quintal of grains were destroyed. “The first incident was 4 years back, and this is the second time it has happened”, Mani added.
Animals predating on humans, not highly natural, but when it happens, the consequences are damaging. Apart from psychological and economic loss, due to retaliation, many times elephants are poisoned or left injured. Government, on one of the ways to curb human-animal conflict, uses monetary compensation. But a lot of people do not report their loss, or even if they do, they fail to get compensation. Mani also didn't get any compensation for his loss from the government of any concerns from the Forest Department. Although the majority of the human-elephant conflict cases claimed crop loss, many state governments in India still do not provide crop compensation.
Support Mani Bhengra by calling the Divisional Forest Officer of Khunti, Jharkhand, Niranjan Prasad Dev, at +91-6528221354, and urge him to ensure compensation.
Video by Community Correspondent Rejan Gudia
Article by Grace Jolliffe, a member of VV Editorial Team.