By Rajan Rawat Simkot, Oct.16: Locals in Simkot Rural Municipality have earned more than Rs. 30 million by collecting medicinal herbs in one and a half months. They have collected ‘Kutki’ medicinal herbs from Chuwakhola forest area within one and a half months. The community forest had remained closed for the villagers for three years. However, this year, the forest consumer committee allowed the locals to collect Kutki, herbal medicine, by taking Rs. 1,000 as entrance fee from each collector. Not only the villagers but also the herbs traders were happy with the decision of the forest consumers committee. Jaspuri Bohora, a local of Simkot-2, collected 5.5 quintal herbs and earned Rs.60, 000 in one and a half months. However, she said her earning was quite less than the earning made by her neighbours. “My neighbours earned a lot, I was late and alone from my family to collect the herbs,” Bohora added. Tara Bohora from the same village earned Rs.1.2 million by collecting 12 quintal herbs in one and a half months and became one of the highest earning woman in the village. Apart from Jaspuri and Tara, family members of 450 of the 556 households of Thehe village had collected the herbs this season. When the forest consumer committee did not allow the villagers to collect the herbs, they had lost the source of income for three years. Bijaya Bhandari said minimum one to four members of a household had entered the forest for the collection of the herbs and each family earned ranging from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 1.5 million after selling the herbs they had collected. He estimated that the villagers earned Rs.30 million from collecting the herbs in a single season. The villagers firstly dry their wet aromatics they have collected from the jungle and sell it at the rate of Rs.1100 per kg to the traders from their doorsteps. Medicinal plants, herbs and others collected in the remote villages of Humla district are believed to be highly qualitative compared to the medicines found in other high hilly districts. Thus, they are also expensive, said Bhandari. Kutki is also known as effective cholagogue.