February 7, 2019 07:49 AM NPT
By: Janak KC
Raute leader Lokendra Bahadur Shahi with Jajarkot CDO Lalit Kumar Basnet and police inspector Rabindra Bahadur Singh. Photo: Janak KC/Republica
JAJARKOT, Feb 7: A group of Raute people from the forests of Surkhet has reached Jajarkot in search of food. Rautes are known as Nepal’s last nomadic tribe.
The group led by Lokendra Bahadur Shahi met with the chief district officer (CDO) of Jajarkot, Lalit Kumar Basnet, on Wednesday seeking food aid from the government. Shahi complained with Basnet that his community members have been facing hardships due to the government delay in providing them the monthly allowance. He also complained that their traditional occupation – carving wooden vessels and implements – and way of life are under threat due to rapid deforestation. Traditionally, these nomads hunt small animals including monkeys and birds for food.
The Raute leader also told the CDO that Jajarkot forests have plenty of trees and monkeys, so they be allowed to settle in the district.
He informed that more than 400 Rautes of 46 households are currently living in Dailekh and Surkhet districts. They also met the vice-chairman of the District Coordination Committee Rabindra Bahadur Singh and several Nepali Congress leaders.
Meanwhile, CDO Basnet informed Republica that he provided some financial assistance from his own pocket to the Raute group. He also promised them support if they chose to live in Jajarkot.
The Rautes had brought wooden utensils as gift for the CDO and other officials.