Meeting with Ramesh Rai

Ramesh Rai is Forest Ranger for the community forests of Kanyadevi, Panchthar district.

Romain and Hélène during the 2022 Nepal mission, with forest rangers in eastern Nepal (Ramesh is the 3rd person from the left).

Romain and Hélène interviewed Ramesh Rai, the ranger supported by the CPPR, during the 2nd CPPR mission to Nepal in 2022:

Romain: How did you start working as a forest ranger?

I've been a forest ranger since 2014

I was appointed by the Kanyadevi Community Forest, the committee of village members, to oversee the community forest.

Hélène: Is it difficult to be a forest ranger?

It's difficult, not all the time... It's very difficult during the rainy season. This job is not for everyone, it's difficult but no job is easy.

I'm also the guardian of the Deepika forest, but I do my best during the rainy season because it's really very dangerous.

What's more, there are no shelters on site, and it's too dangerous to take horses. So it's also difficult to carry our equipment and sleep.

Romain: And do you like this job?

The audience laughed, and the answer was obvious to them...

Yes, I love my job, because it allows me to go into the forest often, to walk around it and bring back a bit of fresh air! And what's more, I get to protect the red pandas! I really love my job.

Romain: How do you feel when you see a red panda?

I work for the red pandas, for their protection. So when I see a wild red panda in the forest, it makes me really happy! You can't put a price on that.

It also allows me to count and study them. I'm happy when I can see some. And I hope you can see some too!

Romain: If during our trip we're lucky enough to see a red panda, I think it's because we've got good eyes!


Hélène: What has this job changed for you? Is the salary motivating?

The salary is not very high.

The salary is lower than when I started in 2014. RPN paid me 2000 a month which made 24000 a year. (Currency in Nepalese rupees). At the moment they only pay us 12,000 a year. But I agree with that because I'm also interested in working here for the forest, and that's what I do best on my side.

And the other benefit is that my children receive a scholarship through the Red Panda Conservation Scholarship. "(Red Panda Conservation Scholarship, set up by the RPN) . My children are also happy and very proud. They say that thanks to their father, who is a forest warden, they receive a cash scholarship and a school bag. My wife was able to put 3000 rupees of this money in the bank for the children's insurance.

Hélène: Would you like to share with us an anecdote or something that struck you during your patrols?

Hélène: Would you like to share with us an anecdote, or something that struck you during your patrols? During the rainy season, it's very difficult to walk in the forest because I can't smell or see where the wild animals are, or anticipate what's going to happen. The animals are hard to find, and they can also approach us more easily and attack us. So during the rainy season, it's difficult to work in the forest.

Romain : Have you ever come across any dangerous animals?

We once saw a Bengal tiger at sunset. It was sitting under a tree! We didn't see him, so we went over and found him right next to us! He was really cute! (laughs!)

And I've seen black bears, there are sometimes incidents.

Rest assured, Ramesh has never been injured on any of his missions and knows what to do in the event of an unusual encounter!

We would like to thank Ramesh for his incredible work in the field, and express our gratitude and admiration for his involvement in protecting the forest. We would also like to thank him for taking the time to come and meet us and answer our questions.

This is the first time I've met my donors and I'm very grateful that you've come all the way from France. You've brought clothes, which means a lot to me and gives me the encouragement I need to continue my work. Thank you very much. Thank you so much!

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