Sunday, November 27, 2011

Refinishing the Relocation

Now the Villagers of Padra have no reason to sing ‘why this kollavari di?’ link below (Kollavari means ‘why did you do this to me?’) because they have now been given fair chance to live life just like the rest of their villager men and women, who were relocated in 2007.

If this village, which is located in the core of Ranthambhore forest, is moved out the forest department would be able to make space for 4-5 tigers in a secure protected zone otherwise these tigers would be forced to stray out to look for their territory.

These 23 families stayed back because they could not settle with the land they were offered, they were left with dented infrastructure as the rest villagers were gone besides these the remaining families were hindering the tigers from flourishing in the area.

Village Padra - A hurdle now in process of getting cleared for the inviolate landscape

The Chief Secretary of Rajasthan - the top most bureaucrat of the state, arrived in Jogi Mahal a few days ago and organized a meeting with all the concerned department officials. Instead of setting up just a meeting, the man of action set a morning aside to visit the villages himself along with the team consisting of the HoF, CWLW, DM, SP, CF, DFO, ACF, RO’s, AD and other officials to handover the cheques to the villagers.

A discussion of all local officers, senior officials and villagers

Mr S Ahmed sitting for further discussions with the villagers

Mr S. Ahmed discussing possibilities of better prospects after the villagers settle in the new land

DFO Mr YK Sahoo with HoF singing the cheques for distribution

This time the district of Sawai Madhopur has been blessed with genuine officers not one or two but most of the team members are proactive. With all the personal interactions, I have had with them the commissioner is a learned and strategic person; while the SP – an academician from Cambridge is a calm and controlled person.

The CF and DFO are not just managing regular duty but are actually following the wall construction around the park, but also rigorous monitoring of the tigress with cubs and legitimately concerned about their safety as some of them are living at the edge of the park and are in danger of villagers anger.

The three musketeers - CF Mr Gupta, SP Mr Bhomia and Collector Mr Kushwaha

Calling the water works engineers to make arrangements for boring water in the relocation site

Women looking forward to a better future for their children waiting outside the park

Mr S Ahmed calling amma to remove pardah and look at future - the elderly lady blessed him for the gift given by the government at the last stages of her life

A close up view of Village Padra inside the Ranthambhore national park

Padra village from inside

Chottu Gurjar - was attacked by a tiger few years ago bears the marks on his face and heart but today is happy to move out of the forest

Laughing laddoo.. but everybody else smiling too!

The team combined has covered most aspects of this village relocation. There is an important message which would pass on to the remaining villagers who are waiting to see if this village would move or now and once it does happen the rest would be motivated to follow. There are three more villages left to be moved outside the park 12 villages were relocated by late Shri Fateh Singh Rathore.

Tigress T11 with one of her three cubs - she lives in the same area; a few years ago the same tigress had lost her cubs to poisoning by villagers from the area

Jogi watching over the relocation process

Jogi is hopeful about the process of relocation rolling which would benefit the tiger and the locals both alike... one man has set an example and we hope remaining three villages will be relocated too...

So now no more Kollavadi di !!