Rohtak: Can you imagine 5,000 year old Harappan site protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) covered by dung cakes?
Welcome to Rakhigarhi-an important site-a site of pre-Indus Valley civilization, where women nowadays place their dung cakes while basking in the sun. The sorry state of affairs is a common site in the village of Hisar district where important site is being ravaged by encroachment and tractors, bullock-cart traverse to reach their destination in neighbouring village. Despite being took under its control by ASI due to its high historical value, the encroachment on this site to the treasure of artefacts has become a challenge for the district administration to deal with.
Recently, Union Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman had announced a world class onsite museaum at Rakhigarhi.
The ancient habitation spreading in about 550 hectares, is being used to bake cow-dung cakes, which later being used as domestic fuel by villagers who mostly are from farming background.
The excavation occurred here by teams of ASI have revealed that this place was once the hub of trade and administration during the Harappan era. Some human skeletons were also recovered from the site which were sent to laboratory to establish their origin through their DNA.
An expert engaged in excavation told media that this site is extremely valuable from archaeology point of view and it has been proved by the team of scholars working on this project. “If it is not preserved in whatever form it is available, several important studies would remain incomplete and full scholarly work on this may bring additional advantage to human modern life. But it has to preserved at any cost from encroachment”, he added.
The team visited this site told media that the Rakhigarhi site should be given more attention by local administration and state government. The team of experts have indicated that it would be used further for scientific analysis and evidence. -Mound Number 1,2,3 and 5 are protected by the ASI while mound number 4,6,7 are in private land. Experts also feel that unless the government comes with a rehabilitation and compensation policy for inhabitants, this problem would persist for long.
The residents’ woes
A middle-age woman patting cow dung said that since she was not well-educated but understands that this site has some historical importance.
“The government is giving so much importance to those who used to live centuries ago but what about those who are living now”, she asked.
Are breathing people of this village are not important, she further asked.
“This is our village, we were born here. We have no money to go somewhere else and we are nostalgic about our land, place”, he added.
Rakhigarhi sarpanch Rajesh Sheoran said that there was no resentment from the local inhabitants over the announcement of museum here. “We will get additional revenue but it is created an international site but we are concerned of rehabilitation”, he added.
He added that there was no extra panchayati land for shifting the people and only the government can fix the issue by announcing a special package to shift the settlement from the mounds.