Rautes demand tent and food from the government

Raute, Dr Dila Sangroula

By Hikmat Bahadur Nepali

DULLU, April 29: Normally the period in between mid- March and mid-May is marked by hotter days. But this time, it appears as though the monsoon has arrived before the time.

Unexpected things would obviously make people plan differently. Obviously, the nomadic Raute people who were residing occupying the area of a local river shrunk in winter shifted to a bit far fearing the river could expand due to rains.

This small group of indigenous people, as recognized by the government, is inhabiting on land some 200 meters away from a dam of the local Beteni River at Gurmakot Municipality-13 in Surkhet.

House of Representatives member Dr. Dila Sangraoula visited them recently.

Their leader Surya Narayan Shahi took time to share problems and challenges that the Rautes are facing in meeting their very basic needs with the woman lawmaker.

“Monsoon is just ahead of us. The community is distressed by the food crisis. The monthly allowance of Rs 2,000 is hardly sufficient for addressing their minimal survival needs,” he apprised the lawmaker.

The local government-Gurans Rural Municipality, Dailekh, for the first time decided to provide the permanent identity cards to the Ratue people and Rs 2,000 monthly allowance per head.

“On this backdrop, we need tents and food from the government,” the Raute tribal headman stressed, urging the government on behalf of the lawmaker to make arrangements towards that end.

Traditionally Rautes are adept at making artistic things out of wood and they sell them for livelihood.

Upon observing the lifestyle of the Raute people closely, the lawmaker reached to a conclusion that the nation had already entered a new era, but the conditions of these nomadic people have not changed for progressive causes.

Pointing out the need of protecting Raute, a nomadic indigenous ethnic group, she said that it was necessary to make arrangement of education, health and employment to Raute by developing a new settlement for them.

Urging the government to take a concrete step to bring change in Raute community, Sangraula said, “The community should not be left in this stone age.”

She said that emphasis should be laid on education to socialize the Raute, saying a campaign should be launched to socialize them.

There are now 46 households and 146 people in Raute settlement. Earlier, the Raute, who cooked their food after killing wild animals like monkey and macaque have now been facing problems after they could not find wild animals easily.