Poor Tarai communities hunt rats for food

Pathari, December 4

We are wont to think that we can count the number of people who do not get irritated by the rat menace, but a community in Tarai seems to get on with it or rather relish it.

The marginalised and poverty-stricken communities here have been preying on rats for long. They head out into the paddy fields and hunt down the rats in their burrows.

Santhal ethnic community’s Paltaram Murmu, Gopilal Murmu and Panchu Hasda from Sanischare of Pathari, Morang have been spending their days combing the fields in the district for rats.

They scour the fields in Dohalu, Sirise, Bayaban, Riguwa and Sanischare to kill rats.

The delicacies made of rat meat are great and that is the reason we have been using the spare time to hunt rats, Palta Murmu said.

Not only the Santhal community but Bantar and Rishidev communities have also been hunting rats, foxes, rabbits, wild cats and mongoose for meals. They hunt mostly during the winter season, said Panchu Hasda of Sanischare.

Jhangraha Rishidev from Dohalu village confided that the fish and other regular meat items in the market are too expensive for them to buy, hence they opt for rat.