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Tea community preserves crematorium -forest for 150 years!
 BISWANATH CHARIALI, July 7 - At a time when deforestation has become a matter of grave concern throughout the world, some families belonging to a tea community have been trying hard to preserve a cremation ground in a unique way for the last 150 years.

The ground is located at West Mijika, around 25 kilometres away from here, under Behali Legislative Constituency in Biswanath district. The cremation ground, measuring 13 bighas in area, houses around 10,000 various trees and 50 species of bamboos. Besides, a good number of rare species of animals and birds have also made the crematorium their home. This great endeavour of preserving flora and fauna has been carried out by the Kissan Samaj. The Kissan community of Line No. One, Line No. Five, Line No. Four A and B, Ahubari Line and Jangalbasti got united many years back to plant trees in the ground and this has been continued generation after generation.

This effort has yielded in the creation of a large forest. Several different types of valuable trees namely segun, chandan, gandhsharoi etc., are now found here. Locally available animals and birds have also found a home in this man-made forest.

The forest is looked after by a managing committee consisting of a section of senior and conscious people of the Samaj in order to keep the flora and fauna intact. Rana Kissan, Pradeep Kissan, Madan Kissan, Mansingh Kissan, Tunu Kissan, Tankeswar Kissan, Dhruva Kissan, Binod Kissan, Sunil Kissan, Kiran Kissan, Ramu Kissan, Michu Kissan, Dilip Kissan etc., along with the help of the local people have been contributing a lot physically and economically in providing safety and security to the forest.

However, the increasing number of trees and other problems have made it quite impossible for this economically backward community, who had converted a cremation ground to a forest, to continue with their effort. Therefore, they now long for government and other organisations’ help in this respect. If the government departments come forward to help them, it will be really a laudable job in terms of environment protection and preservation, local people opine.

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