Forest better than town, say rautes

Ratnanagar, Chitwan, July 10: The near extinct Rautes, a nomadic tribe in western Nepal, have said it was better for them to live in the jungle than in towns.

At a press meet organized by the Association of Nepalese Indigenous Nationalities Journalists (ANIJ), this morning in Chitwan, they said they do not like to live in the cities.

"As our ancestors lived in the jungle, we will also spend our lives in the jungle itself," said Shivaram Shahi.

He said they will not discard their long standing tradition, but would take cooperation from the cities by begging.

Shahi said, "The present prime minister Khil Raj Regmi has called on us to live in homes, but we said we would live in the jungle if we get some cooperation. We do not like towns."

"In the past, we did not board buses, but now we do," he, said.  A   team of 14 Rautes including children are now in Chitwan.

  On Tuesday, they had acquired information of the marginalized Chepang community's lifestyle living in the remote villages of Chitwan.

In Shaktikhor of Chitwan, they acquired information on the Chepang community and the Chepang Museum.

  At a time when the government could not bring the nomads to town, they arrived in Chepang settlement of Chitwan Tuesday under their seven-day district tour.

The Youth and Small Entrepreneurs Self Employment Fund Secretariat under the Finance Ministry brought them here to establish them in houses in the villages like other communities.

They will visit various places here staying in Bharatpur. The visit was started to take them to various places for making them self employed by establishing in communities, said Secretariat's Monitoring Officer Janak Pandey.

The team, which arrived in Chitwan on Tuesday, was happy when they saw the arrows and fishing equipments of Chepang were similar to theirs.  They have come from Jahare of Surkhet in western Nepal.

Raute chief Man Bahadur had sent Chhabilal as the team leader.  They will also be apprised of the livelihood of the people of western Nepal, the Fund said. RSS

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