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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Dalit village wonders, if Modi govt’s help will ever reach us

Residents of a Dalit village say no aid from governmet yet.

Written by Santosh Singh | Bhaktipura |
Updated: April 29, 2015 5:45:36 am
Though only one person died in this village due to the Saturday’s earthquake, most stone and brick structures here have developed cracks beyond repair. Though only one person died in this village due to the Saturday’s earthquake, most stone and brick structures here have developed cracks beyond repair.

We have heard that the Modi sarkar has helped our government. But, we wonder would the help filter down to this Dalit basti of cobblers,” says Nakul Roka, a resident of Sarki village atop hills under Bhaktpura. Though only one person died in this village due to the Saturday’s earthquake, most stone and brick structures here have developed cracks beyond repair.

Nuvan, who dropped out of school after Class V, says he knows Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of India and that he has reached out to the Nepal government. Other villagers shared Nuvan’s view as they remain skeptical of any help coming from the government.

“People on the foothills are most benefited by any government compensation,” says Hari Bahadur Roka, a cobbler. He complains that no government official has reached out to them with food or tents. “They are busy saving people in towns. They have not ventured into the valleys to take a stock of actual damage,” Roka says, pointing towards at least 30 badly damaged houses atop hills. Ram Bahadur Roka, a cobbler who earns around Rs 300 per day, says the villagers have no faith in politicians who offer them only “assurances”. It’s an irony that Ram is wearing a T-shirt printed “Happy time” on it. The only “assets” left with the villagers are goats and poultry.

Stone stairs lead up to hill top from where there are several villages having either collapsed structures or houses beyond repair. The only source of water for these villages is a stream. Women here grow vegetables on slopes, but only for personal use. No one is sleeping inside the cracked homes as aftershocks have not stopped yet. Even in the villages on the foothills, the better-off farmers, who too have suffered heavy damages, are complaining about no help from the government. Tilak Mahat’s family is out living in a tent. His wife Sapna said: “I need to rebuild my house that has cracks at four places. But, no government official has reached us.”

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