Green brigades of Jhagrahi Malimunda

Nuapada: Real jungles are being destroyed for construction of concrete jungles thus creating imbalance in the nature. The villagers of Jhagrahi Malimunda who have been collectively nurturing and guarding the forests for over two decades have set a glaring example for urban and city dwellers who cause wanton loss to the nature.

As the sun rises, groups of Jhagrahi Malimunda villagers including women and children, with lathis and axes in hand, march towards the nearby Ratakhani forsts. It is a daily ritual that has been going on for about 22 years now. Their objective:to guard the forests they have created over an area of about 90 hectares.

Twenty two years ago it was a huge patch of fallow land. Hardly there were grasses on the land and very little herbs and shrubs. Some villagers had carved put land for themselves in small patches for farming activities. Gradually the importance of forest in the day to day life of the people dawned upon them. The villagers called a palli sabha. They unanimously decided to create the forest and guard it from timber mafia. The forest department lent all sorts of assistance in their endeavour.

"Save the forest to save life on earth` the slogan seems to have worked wonders for the villagers of Jhagrahi Malimunda. Not just for the people of  Nuapada district but also for the entire state the villagers have set an example on environmental awareness. They deserve kudos.