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Women Empowerment at Barahi Jungle Lodge

Alina Choudhury 26 always wanted to be a Hotel Manager, and to fulfill this dream of her, she did graduation in Hotel Management. Providence however had something different for her. After she joined The Barahi Jungle Lodge, our Jungle outfit ,she opted to be a naturalist instead.
Sudikshya Kumal 22 ,did her Bachelor in Business Studies and joined the Barahi Jungle Lodge as a staff in 2022. She was groomed by the management for the job of a naturalist.
Both girls had something in common. Alina is from the indigenous Tharu tribe, the original settlers of Chitwan valley. Sudikshya’s grand parents migrated to Chitwan from the middle hills in the 60s under King Mahendra’s scheme of resettling land less hill people to the Terai by giving them free land after complete eradication of malaria.
They lived in their respective villages close to the present National park near the buffer zone and practically grew up with wild animals. As children the girls accompanied their mother for grass cutting and collecting fodder inside the community forest. Their fields were
regularly raided by herbivorous animals especially Rhinos and the entire village joined up to drive the animals at the dead of night.
Alina was a member of anti poaching squad in her teens and regularly joined the summer and winter Visiting bird count. She regularly participated in nature based trainings that was given to the villagers by The National Park.
Both girls were groomed by their parents and grand parents on nature and animals which created a lasting impression as children. Alina’s father worked in a jungle outfit as well.
This close encounter with wild animals since childhood gave them a love for wildlife and at the same time they lost the fear of animals.
Do they like working as naturalists? The question was answered by both girls in affirmative. For the girls it is not work. It is more of an enjoyment and every day is a learning day. The mysterious jungle of Chitwan gives a new surprise every day for those who care to observe deeply.
After joining Barahi Jungle Lodge, the management encouraged them to a job which was an exclusive male dominated sector. The girls opted for being naturalists and took a training with NTNC (National Trust for Nature Conservation). This training gave them the license to operate inside the park. The senior naturalists took them along as assistants to give them a first hand knowledge of nature and also dealing with tourists.
Currently they are the only female naturalists who are employed by the hotel in Chitwan. We wish Alina and Sudikshya a successful future in the profession that they have opted for.


12 May, 2024
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