People reach highlands in droves to collect ‘Himalayan Viagra’

- Bishnu Lal Budha, DOLPA
People reach highlands in droves to collect ‘Himalayan Viagra’

Jun 1, 2015-

With the official date for entry into the highlands for the collection of Yarshagumba approaching fast, villages located in the lower region have gone empty while schools wear a deserted look as the students at various schools have abandoned their classes and are now headed for the highlands.

According to headmaster Laxman Karki of Dhurbatara Primary School at Upper Dunai, while students from relatively distant locations have already left for the highlands, the remaining were making necessary arrangements for early departure to collect  the high-altitude wild fungus that is prized for its aphrodisiac qualities.

All of the schools in Lower and Upper Dunai, including Dhurabatara Primary at Upper Dunai,  Balmandir Primary School and Saraswati Higher Secondary at the district headquarters are sans students.

Ambika Hamal, a teacher at Balmandir Primary School, said that the school has not had a single student since the last one week.

Likewise, headmaster Narendra Bikram GC of Saraswati HS School said that the teachers, in the absence of students, had been spending their time engaging in small talk.  

Even Assistant District Education Officer Bir Bahadur Dhami said that they had been informed that regular classes had been halted at almost all of the schools in the district.

“As the parents take their children along with them to collect as many of the precious herb as they can, schools have not been able to operate classes,” Dhami said.

From a six-year-old child to a 70-year-old elderly, everyone in the district head for the highlands in search of the precious herb as it happens to be the only source of income for a majority of them.

Moreover, even schools in neighbouring districts such as Jajarkot, Rukum and Jumla have been affected by the tendency.

“Thousands of students like us from Jajarkot and Rukum have come here as this is the time to earn rather than attend classes,” said Dhirendra Shahi, a ninth grader at Kalika Adarsha Secondary School in Jajarkot.

According to the statistics maintained by the District Education Office, some 9,500 students at 87 Primary, 18 Lower Secondary, nine Secondary and five Higher Secondary Schools in Dolpa are currently sans students. The DEO stated that schools in the district remain affected for 15-20 days each year

during the season when locals collect Yarshagumba, which is often known throughout the world as ‘Himalayan Viagra’

Although the highlands were opened from Nepali month of Jestha 10, the date was postponed to Jestha 18 due to heavy downpours and snowfall.

Published: 02-06-2015 07:33

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