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ASHMITA PANDEY

I am an agriculturist. I started my career as an NGO researcher and was involved in programs mainly focused towards improving food security, household incomes and resource conservation, thereby contributing to sustainable rural livelihoods.


As we all know agriculture and wildlife have a two-way relationship, but it has worsened with the pace of development.


During my job tenure, I used to hear a lot about human-elephant conflicts, resulting crop damage, human and elephant casualties, property damage, and other secondary impacts.


Being an agriculturist, I was more concerned about the welfare of farm communities and perceived the elephant as a disastrous agricultural pest. But later, I realized that the human activities have provoked these creatures to become notorious.


Since then, I sought a platform through which I could change the perception of humans towards elephants and create the balance between them, which would ultimately lead to environmental conservation and rural poverty alleviation.


In the meantime, I came to know about Nepal Elephant Walk Sanctuary (NEWS) through Sudha.


I was overwhelmed with the idea of an elephant sanctuary and agreed to be a part of it. I believe that if the elephants are properly managed and treated, they could provide socioeconomic benefits to humans from various aspects.


I hope NEWS will strongly address the welfare issues of elephants and create a humane environment for them.