By Sher Bahadur Sharki
Bajura, Mar. 28: The Bhote community of the Himalayan region, who had migrated internally to lowland areas with the beginning of the cold season, has started returning to their villages taking their sheep and goats with them.
Most of the Bhote communities in the northeastern part of the district raise sheep and goats for their livelihood.
Sheep and goats flock to the valleys in the winter and live in the Himalayas in the summer. The Bhote community living in Budhinanda, Swamikartik, Himali and Jagannath villages in the northeastern part of the district find it difficult to graze their sheep and goats in winter. It is their custom to go to plain areas taking their children and livestock to escape the cold and again return to their village with the onset of summer.
The Bhotes used to trade rice, salt and herbs in the villages, but now they are engaged in raising sheep and goats.
After the vehicles started plying in the village, everyone from the community stopped trading salt, rice and herbs because of this they are in trouble with their new business.
The Bhote community living in Kolti Pandusain in the northeastern part of the district, in the winter, take their sheep and goats for sale to make a living.
As it is easy to graze sheep, goats, buffaloes and horses in the plain areas during the cold season, they are still living in various places including Achham, Bajhang and Doti.
According to them, even though trade is not what it used to be, we now have problems raising sheep.
The Bhote community, which start internal migration in October, has started returning to the Himalayan region saying that the grazing for sheep and goats has become uncomfortable with the start of summer from the second week of March.
Aanga Rokaya, a local, said that they have migrated internally to Bahrabish, Jayabageshwori, Kanda, Achham and other valleys during the winter. But again they have started returning to Himalayan districts taking their horses, sheep, goats and yaks from the second week of March.
Pramila Gurung of Budhinanda Municipality-6, Pandusain said that they used to bring their children along with the sheep and go back to their home district in March.
He said, “In the past, we used to sell rice, salt and oil taking them to the villages in sheep but now our business has been shadowed due to the inroads of vehicles.”
There are no open forests like before in the village to graze their livestock easily. Community forests have restricted entry, Gurung said. “There is a lot of problem in raising sheep and goats now due to community forests which do not allow them to graze and take grass for their livestock,” he said.