In order to prevent elephants from wreaking havoc in their fields and destroying crops, villagers here have installed a statue of an elephant near their farms with a firm belief that it will ward off the herd from devouring their crops.
Locals of Kukradih village set up the statue following all the rituals with women even observing a day-long fast before its installation. The villagers are offering prayers to the statue of the elephant which they believe will protect their crops.
"We have installed the statue with a prayer to Lord Ganesha to protect our crops from elephants. We believe that this statue will protect our village," said Sahu, a local.
"Forest department have tried but failed. However, since the statue is installed elephants are not coming. It is a matter of our belief," said Radhe Lal Sinha, a villager.
Mayank Pandey, a forest official said: "We respect the villagers' faith. Our priority is to make sure that there should be no destruction of crops or loss of life"
As per government records, over 65 human lives were claimed and 14 elephants have died in the last five years in Chhattisgarh. In addition, the state government has distributed Rs 75 crores as compensation to the victim families for human lives loss, crop damage, and loss of property.