RAJBIRAJ: At a time when festivities of Dashain have spread all over the district, Shibu Mandal of Hanumannagar Kankalini Municipality in Saptari is busy collecting wood that come floating over Koshi river.
Mandal, who earns his living by collecting such chunks of wood, has not been touched by the festivities going on around him. Not just him but 30 other families — of a settlement near the Koshi bank who do not own any land — have the same source of livelihood.
Local Baleshwar Mukhiya shared that he wakes up at 3:00 am everyday and uses a boat to reach Koshi Barrage area, three kilometres north from his settlement, to collect floating pieces of wood which he later sells in Hanumannagar. He added that he has to wake up so early to reach the barrage because if he doesn’t then somebody else will take away the find.
He further added that the men take out boats to find the wood that come floating along the river while the women sell the collected wood. “Our main occupation is to wait for and collect the wood, mostly from June to October, as this is the time when water level of Koshi river is high.”