डायचे वेले जर्मनी द्वारा अंतर्राष्ट्रीय पुरस्कार "द बॉब्स" से सम्मानित पत्रिका "दुधवा लाइव"

International Journal of Environment & Agriculture, Vol.7, no 05, May 2017, ISSN 2395-5791

"किसी राष्ट्र की महानता और नैतिक प्रगति को इस बात से मापा जाता है कि वह अपने यहां जानवरों से किस तरह का सलूक करता है"- मोहनदास करमचन्द गाँधी

Dec 10, 2010

A story of species killers !

Tracking hunters in Central India Part – I

Declaimer: Although the story is based on few true incidents happened in author’s life but all Characters appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real person, living or dead is purely coincidental. 

At morning after reaching office I found my boss waiting. I was not expecting him to be there since his usual time of visiting the office was in the evening so that he could get his work done by the office staff at the last moment. He called me to a separate room for a meeting. “I have some information regarding five sloth bear cubs with kalandars somewhere in Bilaspur, Chattisgarh”, he informed me. 

Here I should explain, Kalandars are nomadic tribes who use sloth bear cubs for the purposes of entertaining people and in this way earn their livelihood. My boss said, “One of our informers, Kalu, is waiting there at the location. Your work will be to go there, get all the paper work organized and bring the cubs to rescue centre while the concerned Forest Department will do the seizure”.

Since we had no time to lose, I left for Bilaspur by train on the same day.  As usual my train was late by a couple of hours. I settled down on the bench near a coffee shop at platform no. 2. Like any normal Indian man I was watching the girls at the platform. I checked the reservation chart twice to see whether any young girl’s seat was near mine. I feel a railway station in India represents true India and one can feel the pressure of Indian population there. 

After having spent some time watching the girls, I eventually was bored observing them. I shifted to reading soon as I picked up from my handbag a Sanctuary Asia magazine - the only wildlife magazine published in India. After having finished reading a report or two, I suddenly noticed a lady, who was collecting plastic garbage from the platform, sitting near me on a big black iron box. I observed that she took out a thermos, kept there and left the place. I became curious when she didn’t return even after one hour to collect her thermos.  At last I decided to inform the railway police.  I crossed the over-bridge and reached platform no 1. Two middle aged policemen were sitting in the GRP office. While looking at a Hindi newspaper they were talking something about the most popular issue for Indian males : “SEX”. I tried to stop myself from looking at the newspaper but I couldn’t, and glanced for a few seconds at the half-nude photo of Mallika Sherawat. In the photo she was shown wearing a red top and something else, but I am sure I can’t make my handkerchief out of her dress. I interrupted them: “Excuse me sir” and I explained everything that happened at platform no.2. One of the  policemen said, “ Very good, please go back to platform no.2 and see if you can find our constable Yadav, who is supposed to be there. Please inform him of the matter”. I came out of the railway police office with a clearer understanding of ‘why India is so vulnerable to bomb blasts’.


At 11:45 PM my train arrived New Delhi railway station. As the train stopped, people started fighting to enter the train, even in the reserved coach. The situation was similar to the scenes during post-flood relief distribution. It was almost as if the government vehicle has arrived with rations and people were fighting to get it. At last after fighting with a few people I entered into the coach. After prolonged struggle with other moving passengers through the narrow passage-way between the berths I managed to reach my seat, which was a lower berth. I checked if any of the the passengers seated nearby were young girls. As usual I was unlucky and the coach was filled with old people and the coach resembled an old age home. Absence of young girls dampened my spirit considerably. I slept at 12:00 midnight. 

“Chai!”, “Chai!” the calls of the tea-wallahs moving up and down through the passageway greeted me the next morning and just after I awoke I headed for the washroom. The most horrible thing in Indian railway (if you are not travelling in Shatabdi and Rajdhani) is the toilet, whether its a AC coach or Non AC coach. You can see all sorts of vulgar dialogues written on the wall with modern pictures made by budding young artists of India. Some great personalities also write their phone numbers under these special quotes. I finished my work in ten minutes. I only know how I sat there for ten minutes. I came back to my seat and ordered tea. After having a cup of liquid which is supposed to be called ‘tea’, I decided to go to sleep again. 

At 9:45 am our train reached Raipur railway station. As I got off the train I found Raipur railway station to be cleaner than any railway station in UP.  I shifted to a hotel at MG road. Our informer, Kalu, called me at 11:30 am and I fixed a meeting with him to some place in Bilaspur the next day morning. 
The next day I got up early in the morning and took a bus to Bilaspur. As there are no government transport systems in Chattisgarh so I got a good private luxury bus which took 2 and half hours to reach Bilaspur. I shifted to a hotel on the main road. As soon as I settled down in my room, I called Kalu and fixed a meeting the same day at 4:00pm at Purani Bazaar. 

At three I left the room and traveled in a cycle rickshaw to Purani Bazaar. I don’t know why but I like to travel in cycle rickshaw. Could it be because it costs very less money and at the same time you hire the vehicle with the driver following your instructions. And one more thing to add to the advantages of a cycle rickshaw, It is the only vehicle which can go into a narrow road. My rickshaw-wallah was a Bihari just as most of the rickshaw wallahs of India. It took 20 minutes to reach Purani bazaar from the main road. Kalu was waiting for me in a Dhaba along with Muslim, my other informer. It was a typical Indian dhaba with wooden cots everywhere. We all sat on one cot. As is seen elsewhere in India, the waiter was a child who was hardly twelve. He came to us and asked, “Sahab Ji, kya lao?”. He was wearing jeans and a red t-shirt which appeared more black than red  because I thought he didn’t get time to wash it since a long time. I ordered 3 teas and one plate paneer-pakora and we started our discussion. 


Kalu said, “All five bears are near the river which is around 25km from this place.” I interrupted him and asked “ How old are the bears?”. He told, “4 are adults and one cub”. I called my boss, he attended the phone after the third ring and I was greeted with the usual question : “Hi Rohit, where are you ?” . This is his habit and he always asks this. I had already sent him an sms on reaching the place but it seemed that he didn’t check his phone for messages.  I told him, “Sir, there is only one cub and the rest are all adults”. He said, “Rohit, it doesn’t matter if most of them are adults. You go forward with the seizure plans with the department and get the papers to bring these bears to Agra”.  I said, “But Sir, you told me the forest department will do the seizure and I have to only get the paper work organized”. From the other side of the phone only one sound came beep, beep…………………..He hung up the phone. I was left without any any options. I ordered one mineral water. And  in the meantime tea and pakora were served. Muslim took even less than 10 minutes to finish the pakoras. Me and Kalu got only a piece each. I collected all the details from them. In the meantime I finished my horrible tea, it was more like a sugarcane juice rather then tea, so sweet and cold.


I took a rickshaw and came back to the hotel. Next day morning I took a bus to Raipur and reached the Chief Wildlife Warden’s Office. This was my first meeting with such a high-ranking officer. As I entered the room I saw a small 4.5 ft man sitting on a big chair. A small name plate was kept on the table and I came to know from it that his name was N.R. Bharat.  I told him about the information; he told he will provide all possible support for this work. It is difficult to find such a nice person at this post. I left the office and took an auto to the railway station. It was 12:30 pm at that time and I was feeling hungry. I looked around and saw a board in front of a shop with “Kartick Swami Biryani Centre” written on it. As I entered the shop I found it to be not at all hygienic inspite of being a south Indian dhaba. I ordered one chicken biryani. One girl was sitting at the entrance of the restaurant with cash box and she was probably the owner of the shop-cum-restaurant. Behind her on the wall some south Indian god’s photo was hanging. My biryani was served. As I didn’t have breakfast in morning I was very hungry, and I finished my biryani within 15 minutes. I ordered one more biryani but I couldn’t finish it. I left my biryani and went outside the shop to wash my hands. A big blue water tank was kept there for custumers to wash their hands. Near to this tank a big blue tub was kept for washing the used plates. I washed my hands and again entered the shop. I asked the girl, ““How much is the bill ?”. She said “Rs 56”. I gave her a Rs 100 note. She asked for a change. When I told her that I do not have the change, she went out to get the change. While I was waiting there I saw a 12-13 year old boy sitting near the blue tub. He was having the biryani left by me in the plate. After seeing this I wonder how Indian politicians can say that India will be a developed country by 2020. You can’t provide two time meals to your citizens and you say we will be developed country in 2020! In the meantime, the shop owner came back with the change but I told her to give food to the boy from my balance. I returned to the station and took a passenger train to Bilaspur. The train took one and a half hour to reach Bilaspur. I shifted to hotel Natraj and informed Kalu about my meeting. I called the local DFO and informed him about the situation. 

Next day morning I took a taxi to the river. I don’t remember the river’s name but at the end it turned out to be an irrigation canal. As I was acting as Syed Zafar Haider, a possible Muslim buyer, so I was wearing a long pathani suit and a typical muslim topi.  It took 45 minutes to reach the destination by taxi. I got down with Kalu about I km before the river. We asked some local people about “Bhaloo Wala”. At last, near the river bank we saw three tents. All the tents were made of blue tarpaulin. One bear was tied outside the tent. I went near the tent and asked the bear owner about the location of other bears. He asked for my introduction. I told him that my name was Syed Zafar Haider and I was from Deoria in UP.

Rohit Singh
rohit601@gmail.com
Technical Advisor-Eastern Plain Landscape-Law Enforcement
WWF Cambodia Country Programme
House #54, Street 352,
Boeung Keng Kang I,
PO Box 2467, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

9 comments:

marie muller said...

i cant wait to read the end of this journey!!!!!

bhasu said...

when the concluding part will be loaded? Eagerly waiting!!!!!!!!!!!

bhasu said...

Dear All,
क्यों इंग्लिश भाषा के लेख को दुधवा लाइव में स्थान मिला ? क्यों इसे हिंदी में अनुवाद करने के बाद नहीं प्रकाशित किया गया ? दुधवा लाइव पूर्ण रूप से हिंदी भाषा को समर्पित है ( था ) तो फिर इंग्लिश में इसे प्रकाशित कर के इस अनूठी वेबसाइट की अहमियत को क्यों कम किया जा रहा है
सभी दुधवा लाइव के पाठकों से ये उत्तर माँगा जा रहा है ...... भास्कर दीक्षित

कृष्ण कुमार मिश्र said...

मित्र
आप का कहना बिल्कुल उचित है, दुधवा लाइव पूर्णतया हिन्दी को समर्पित पत्रिका है, और विज्ञान को सहज रूप में हिन्दी भाषा में अपने लोगों के समक्ष प्रस्तुत करने का जो लक्ष्य है, उस लक्ष्य की ओर आप सभी के अतुलनीय सहयोग से हम निरन्तर बढ़ रहे है। चूंकि वन्य जीवन विधा पर समग्री व लेखन अंग्रेजी भाषा में अधिक है, और कुछ लेखों की उपयोगिता व प्रासंगिकता अनुवाद के बाद जब मृत होती प्रतीत होती है, तब हम उसे अनुवादित नही करते! बल्कि हुबहू अंग्रेजी में प्रकाशित करना उचित समझते है, साथ ही अनुवाद जैसे बेहतरीन कार्य के लिए कुछ योग्य व्यक्तियों की आश्यकता भी है, यदि यह अनुवाद का पुनीत कार्य दुधवा लाइव के लिए दीक्षित जी आप कर सके तो बड़ी कृपा होगी। इस पत्रिका को वन्य जीव विशेषज्ञों की सलाह पर ही द्विभाषी किया गया हैं। ताकि हमारी बात विश्व पटल पर पहुंचे, इसलिए हम अंग्रेजी भाषा का निरन्तर सहयोग ले रहे हैं। खैर दीक्षित जी दुधवा लाइव हिन्दी की पत्रिका है और सदैव रहेगी....हमें कट्टरपंथी नही होना चाहिए...आप का क्या विचार है।
संपादक
दुधवा लाइव

उन्मुक्त said...

यह सही है कि अंग्रेजी भाषा से बात विश्व पटल पर पहुंचेगी पर इसके नीचे हिन्दी में भी रहता तो अच्छा होता।

अंग्रेजी में इस तरह की सामग्री बहुयात है जरूरत है हिन्दी में इस तरह की सामग्री की।

Anonymous said...

very soon

कृष्ण कुमार मिश्र said...

हम सतत इस प्रयास में है कि वन्य जीवन व प्राकृतिक इतिहास का दस्तावेज हम हिन्दी में तैयार करे और दुधवा लाइव में प्रकाशित करे, किन्तु संसाधनों की कमी के चलते ऐसा संभव नही हो पा रहा हैं, कि अंग्रेजी में दुधवा लाइव को प्राप्त दर्जनों लेखों को हिन्दी में अनुवादित किया जा सके, क्योंकि रूचिकर अनुवाद आवश्यक है! आप सभी से सहयोग व इस बेहतरीन विमर्श के लिए धन्यवाद

marie muller said...

a interesting issue was raised...yes DUDHWALIVE its mainly a hindi magazine..and india ...i dont know for sure..but i believe thousands of languages...and maybe english its the only language known by everybody ....good issue...
i think that english and hindi here can be togheter!
oh please dont forget that here are foreigner readers very interested on this e-magazine...and also that maybe knowing language is a thing and writing a story is diferent !!!!

marie muller said...

rohit ji !
this " half " article its very interesting to us to learn how difficult is dealing with poachers....forest officers...lawyers..villagers....

i mean its a big chain in the ANTI POACHING operation that we hope leads to a good end!!!(as we wanna read the end of this operation !)...

as i could read here , its not only necessary to have good sources...to know where poachers are working...
to be at right time in the right place...disguises..lot of chapatis....sleepless nights...
rohit you showed us ..
its strong heart and determination no matter which danger sintuations you have to go through.....

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