Himalayan News Service
TERHATHUM: The Majhi people across this eastern district have hung their fishing nets and cut ties with the boats through which they used to ferry people across rivers and eke out a living.
Thanks to changing times, many have switched to uncharted territories like cattle rearing and agriculture, while some have ventured abroad for employment.
The main reason behind this switch is the construction of bridges over rivers (presently, the district has 63 suspension bridges).
Jaya Kumar Majhi of Chhatedhunga-9 laments that construction of a suspension bridge in Nakkaleghat has put the traditional occupation of boatmen like him in peril. "Boats are no longer in use as everybody crosses the Tamor through the bridge,'' he says, adding,'' I started agriculture and animal farming to make a living.''
Jaya Kumar says at least six youths from his village have gone abroad for employment.
Majhi people from Simle VDC too feel that bridges have forced to come to the ground, leaving aside their territories -- the rivers -- for livelihood.
''I switched to agriculture and animal farming, leaving the traditional profession," goes Birkha Bahadur Majhi of Simle-3, ''Besides, good catch has become a dream these days.''
It has been quite sometime since 16 households in Simle opted for agriculture and animal farming, while some have pushed themselves further.
According to Kumari Majhi, 10 youths from Simle have gone abroad looking for jobs.