Signing Petitions to Save the Wild

wild boar india photo

The death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala, close to the World Environment Day has left the whole nation angry. From politicians to media persons and common man, the news of a pregnant elephant allegedly murdered by feeding a pineapple stuffed with explosives has taken the internet like a wild fire. Number of online signature campaigns have been launched and signed by many asking for justice for the voiceless animal, ironically voice of the ones who has been accused of murdering the gentle soul has also been remained missing or unheard. The incident occurred in the last week of May but has been brought to the limelight just few days before the World Environment Day. In this era when social media users have become the voice for the voiceless animals, the accused locals or farmers remain voiceless amidst this social media uproar.

Snaring wild animals remains one if the oldest method of keeping wild animals away from destroying one’s farm, al though illegal, it is one of the cheapest method hence, used widely. Wild animals like bluebull, tiger, elephant, wild boars, etc. venturing into farms is a common occurrence in search of food.

These animals as most of them move in herds have the potential to destroy crops overnight, incurring huge losses to already poor farmers.

Bursting crackers, creating loud noise and hunting are the most easy, cheap and traditional way of warding off wild animals and saving crops and human lives as well. According to Chinese Mythology, celebrating Cun Jie (spring festival/ Chinese new year) that falls in the month of February, started when a monster called Nian, would destroy the village and even eat human beings was scared off by flashing red coloured clothes, papers, etc. and bursting crackers. Even today, Chinese people follow these traditions during Spring Festival. While these traditions are still followed by common masses, following a traditional method by farmers to save their crops makes sense. Will insensitively demanding stringent punishments for already troubled farmers ensure safe lives for such occasional strollers, or does it mean that more farmers will end their lives when their farms are destroyed and they are unable to pay loans that they had taken for children’s education or farming related purchases?

As snaring wild animals remains one of the cheapest method of saving farmers crops, eco friendly and cheap methods like using hatchery waste may help the farmers and save lives of many wild animals. This method creates pungent smell that is disliked by herbivores animals which resists them from entering the field. Methods like building electric fence and other fences, using sounds of tigers and lions to divert the animals that is approaching the field,  might not be affordable b farmers but for this hatchery method, all farmers require is eggs and water.

Farmers require more ideas and effective methods to save their farms not stringent punishments. As civil citizens, more than asking for punishments for farmers in a click of a button by filling some kind of a petition form,  we must understand their problems and find solutions to them. In 2012 National Crime Records Bureau reported 13,755 farmers suicide, the number is only increasing every year. Ensuring better facilities to these farmers who are compelled to use these old methods to save their crops will not only benefit them but also save wild lives, hating them and signing petitions won’t.

Shital Baraily, M.A 2nd Year, Center for study of social systems JNU, New Delhi

Email [email protected]




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