Forest worker’s demise big loss for conservation

- POST REPORT, BIMAL KHATIWADA, CHITWAN
Forest worker’s demise big loss for conservation

Jan 4, 2015-

While the untimely demise of Nathuram Chaudhary, 64, of Meghauli-5, has left his family in deep mourning, the district has lost a hardworking individual dedicated towards the conservation of local forests.

In an unfortunate incident, Chaudhary had fallen victim to a rhino attack when he had gone to the forest to conduct regular patrolling after being tipped-off about smuggling activity in the area. A seven-member team, including consumer’s committee members and chairperson Arjun Bhandari of the consumer’s committee had entered the forest after being informed that some timber smugglers were involved in tree felling inside the forest.

“We used to patrol the forest on elephants every 12th day of the month. But unfortunately that day we had gone on foot due to lack of elephants,” said Bhandari. As everyone was scattered, we found Chaudhary in an injured state about half an hour after he was gored by the rhino,” Bhandari said. Chaudhary was pronounced dead on his arrival to Bharatpur Hospital in Chitwan.

Recognised as a “social leader” of the village, Chaudhary, who belonged to a lower middle class family, spent a major portion of his life contributing towards the conservation of biodiversity in his district.

Chaudhary was the front runner in campaigns related to conservation of the forests and biodiversity. A member of local Sadabahar Community Forest who was actively engaged in various organisations working in the field of conservation, Chaudhary worked night and day to conserve the forests.

While the family has found it hard to come to terms with his demise, Chaudhary’s son Santa Bahadur said that everyone should work together to conserve the forests to honour his father’s dream and legacy.

Meanwhile, Ratani, Chaudhary’s wife, demanded that her husband be declared a “martyr” for his exemplary work with regards to biodiversity conservation. The forest has provided Rs 12,000 as treatment expense and Rs 20,000 to conduct Chaudhary’s final rites.

Published: 05-01-2015 09:14

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