BAGLUNG, Dec 3: Residents of upper Dhorpatan have started to travel down to the lower as the temperature is dipping down and the elections over. Around 1,200 families from that the upper Dhorpatan have migrated to lower Dhorpatan. These residents started migrating to warmer lower Dhorpatan area after it started to become extremely cold in the upper area since September. Though for some it was still tolerable until mid-November, most of them had migrated before that.
“Almost everyone living in the upper Dhorpatan area has come down after extreme chill was felt in the last two weeks,” said Dev Bahadur Sunar, principal of Dhorpatan Janawadi Primary School. “This area grows extremely cold from late September and by December, it’s too much.”
Upper Dhorpatan is suitable only for a one-season crop. After harvesting maize, apple and potato, popular crops there, the locals travel down towards warmer pastures. “Though people usually migrated by the end of September, most of them stayed there to cast their votes. As the elections are over, most of them have migrated to lower Dhorpatan, which is relatively warmer,” Sunar stated.
The residents migrated along with their cattle, food stock and apple. There has not been snowfall yet in the area and this made it easier for them to travel.
“With the cold growing almost near freezing temperature, activities in Dhorpatan have come to a standstill,” Sunar noted, adding that even the school is operated in the basement of a house to keep the children warmer. “The only school open in the area is ours and for the next few weeks we will operate it in the basement until the cold is tolerable,” he added.
60 students are enrolled at the school that is situated at the Bobang area of Dhorpatan-4 and the school is expected to operate for some weeks more.
While leaving their house and belongings back and travelling down, the migrants in the past years were never worried of being robbed. But in the recent years they have started to take precaution and have been deputing watchmen to look after their households during the migration period. “The residents pay these watchmen as they want to ensure that their belongings remain intact in their absence,” Sunar said.
Locals of Pakhathar, Nauthar, Syalpakhe, Nabi, Gahukhet, Kasibang, Khungkhola, Bhuji, Mas and Kang among other localities of Dhorpatan have padlocked their houses and travelled to lower altitude areas. Most of those families have house in both places.
“Even tourists do not visit the upper Dhorpatan area during peak winter. It is not easy. Even police post is shifted elsewhere during the winter months,” informed Indra Shahi, a Nepal Army personal deputed in the area.