Rautes agree to live in wooden houses

Published On: January 9, 2022 11:00 AM NPT By: Nagendra Upadhyaya

SURKHET, Jan 9: The Raute community, which has been living a nomadic life in the forests, has agreed to live in wooden houses to be built by the government. The Raute community said they would live if the government builds houses using only wood. This community, which does not live in one place, does not cultivate, and is reluctant to be educated, has been living in tents near human settlements.

Speaking to Minister for Urban Development Ram Kumari Jhakri, who reached the Raute settlement to discuss the issue of building houses for the Raute community living on the banks of Bheri near Kalekhola in Simta Rural Municipality of Surkhet, the Raute leaders said that they are ready to stay in traditional wooden houses.

Until a few years ago, the Raute community built houses using wooden poles, leaves, and grass. This community, which lives in dense forests and rarely inhabits human settlements, was greatly affected by the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. 

As other community settlements approached, they began to use the cloth tents they received from other communities. Raute leader Mahin Bahadur Shahi said that if the government built wooden houses they would live there. "In the past, we used to live in wooden huts. Tents have just come into vogue," he said. "It is not difficult to live in a house made of wood only."

"If someone dies in our community, you can't go back there for 10 years. You have to leave the area as soon as a person dies." He said, "So if we leave the wooden house it can be easily demolished." He said his community has changed more than ever.

"We don't live in the same place. We have to move as soon as someone dies," he said. "So if we are placed in houses built using other than stone and cement, we will live there," he said.

Minister Jhakri said the Raute community has agreed to live in wooden houses to be built by the government. However, she said further discussions would be held with the Raute community on the design and nature of the houses to be built. “The Raute community is change-oriented,” she said.

"The government will build houses and hand them over without compromising their religion, culture, and beliefs," she said.

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