MUGU, June 30: After spending a month in the high hills of Mugu, yarsagumba collectors have finally returned back to their homes.
A large number of people from the district and outside had headed toward the highlands for collecting yarsagumba, a prized herb with purported aphrodisiac properties, in mid-May. Though most of them have returned back, some are still to return.
It's been six years since Kamaldevi Rawat, 15, of Jumla, Chumchaur, has been going to the highlands for picking yarsa every year during this season.
She is an eighth grader at Malika Secondary School, Lauth Chaur. By skipping school for a month, she says she earns between Rs 30, 000 to Rs 50,000. After returning from the hills, she covers her missing course with the help of her friends. This year, she had gone for picking yarsa with her father and two younger brothers. So, in total, they have earned around Rs 400,000 this year.
Likewise, hundreds of school students in Mugu missed their classes for a month to pick yarsa. Especially, the children of Mangri, Maha, Rius, Serog, Takha, Khari, Karti, Dolfu among others have returned back to their homes after a month in the hills.
Schools had worn a deserted look as the students headed toward the highlands for picking yarsa. Now the classes have resumed after the return of the students, according to Chirring Funjok Lama, a teacher of Saraswoti Residential Basic School, Pulu. He further informed that the students will be attending their classes until July and then will leave for Tibet along with their parents to a fair to purchase materials for their daily use. This will leave the schools empty once again.
Caption: Kamaldevi Rawat, 15, and her brothers returning home after spending a month in highlands collecting yarsa.