March 12, 2018 04:00 AM NPT
By: Bira Gadal
Locals of Dashrathchand Municipality who gathered to chase away monkeys. Republica
BAITADI, Mar 12: As many as 200 locals of Dashrathchand Municipality gathered near the turn at Kaluwad on Saturday holding sticks, whistles and catapults in their hands. They were divided into four groups and mobilized to different parts of the village to chase away monkeys which have become a big trouble for them.
It has been more than five years since monkeys have terrorized the villagers. Though the troubled locals have time and again urged the authorities concerned to solve their problem, their pleas haven't been heard. That compelled the locals to deal with the monkey menace on their own.
Protecting crops, fruits and vegetables from the monkeys has been a challenge for the locals living near the district headquarters of Baitadi. Mayor of Dasharathchand Municipality, Narendra Singh Thapa and various ward chiefs had assisted the locals in chasing the monkeys away. Bhuwan Bahadur Chand, leader of the campaign, told Republica that monkeys are destroying not only their crops but also the goods inside their houses.
The locals of wards 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the municipality are especially affected by the monkey menace. Farming is the main occupation of many people here, but the monkeys eat and destroy their crops, making it difficult for them to feed their families. Some of them have even stopped growing crops, leaving their land barren. "It has been a regular routine for us to guard the crops from early in the morning," said Rajendra Bhatta, one of the locals, adding, "It's not possible for us to chase them away as they come in groups."
It has been equally challenging for the children to go to school alone. Women and children are the main victims of monkey attacks. According to Narayan Prasad Bhatta, chief of ward no.5 of the municipality, locals of other wards too have been told to make joint efforts to reduce monkey menace in the village.
According to the locals, India left a large number of monkeys near the Mahakali River. The same monkeys started troubling the villagers nearby the district headquarters. Ward no.5 has even sanctioned budget for the management of monkeys. Monkeys have even started entering the kitchens and eating food.
Locals have urged the municipality to find a solution to help the locals get rid of the monkey menace. Every year, wild animals like monkeys, porcupines and wild boars damage a huge amount of crops in Baitadi compelling the locals to bear a huge loss. As informed by Karna Bahadur Chand, Information Officer of the District Agriculture Development Office, wild animals damage nearly 25 to 35 percent of crops in the district every year.