Environment is precious and we as a species are understanding its value better day by day. But understanding the value of a thing is one thing and preserving or conserving it is another matter altogether, a matter in which most of us fall short. It’s time we take lessons from these dacoits who are now coming forward as ambassadors for nature and its preservation.
These dacoits are very close to the river Chambal and the banks and forests around it. At one point of time, these Dacoits ruled Chambal. People still dispute whether it was a reign of terror or awe but a fact that probably no one would dispute is their closeness and love for nature, for the river and the forest around which they ruled.
They grew up in these terrains, lived in them, made a living out there, retired from their ‘profession’ and are now living a life of normalcy. But still, they remain faithfully to their beloved Chambal.
It is not much of a stretch to say that their passion for the river and their cry for its protection is very genuine and moving, which is why they have been roped in by Shree Kalpatary Sansathan to partake in the ‘Mahakumbh’ of ex-dacoits in Jaipur which is titled ‘Pehle basaya bihad – Ab bachayainge bihad‘ (Once we lived in forests – Now we will save forests).
Chambal flows through parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and in the 70s and 80s, the area around it was completely overridden with these dacoits. They were relentless, never coming into the clutches of law enforcement agencies.
But they are now reformed, having hung up their dacoits’ shoes a long time ago. And when Mr. Vishnu Lamba went seeking their aid in appealing to the masses and the government to protect the environment, especially the forests, they readily consented.
Mr. Lamba told Economic Times, “I went to Muraina, Bhind, Jhansi, Auraiya and other places in MP, UP and some places in Rajasthan to find these dacoits who once ruled the ravines of Chambal.”
The ‘Mahakumbh’ as the meeting is dubbed will happen in mid-July. Seema Parihar, Gabbar Singh, Mohar Singh, Saru Singh, Malkhan Singh, Renu Yadav and Sarla Yadav are the seven ex-dacoits that have already affirmed their presence out of the 22 approached by the Shree Kalpataru Sansathan.