Today's visit to few villages around Bandhavgarh was not at all shocking for me. Every villager we spoke wanted us to help them or get some help for them from different sources. This is a subsidy generation, who are born in subsidy and they will die with subsidy. Subsidy do not allow them to work. That makes them more lazy.
Majority of them were complaining about the park. Once I convinced them that now park boundary is clearly defined then they started complaining about the fence material, which is not available out side of the park. I had to tell them in a very harsher way that after few years when you will face water scarcity then again you will blame someone so better you see your future yourself and start preparing yourself for that. They agreed in the form of that they did not disagree with my point.
Free distribution of solar gadgets has made a big impact on them. In other sense it has increased their expectations. People could not answer about the use of T.B. ridden cattle. How much they worth?? The kind of money they get in compensation, sometimes, is too much to their actual value.
Mahua. Villagers are busy collecting Mahua at present. We asked them about the economics of Mahua. Some says that a person can earn about 70-80 Rs per day and for some figure goes up to 130-150 Rs per day. Whole family get involve in this. One family we saw who brought their 3 yr old child with them and even he was helping. So even if they are not earning equivalent to normal wage through Mahua they don't want to work to earn better money at this time.
I will say its tradition.
We saw a very nice stream near Damna. We wonder how long it will last? Villagers are cutting each and every tree except Mahua so wont be surprise if in next few years time this stream dries out.
I heard that Bamboo is going to be declared as a MFP material than that will be another nail in the coffin??