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Crossing hills to reach aid

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015
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No aid has reached the people of Chhatre Deurali, VDC Ward No. 3, in Dhading even eight days after the earthquake.  Jeet Bahadur Moktan (pic, below), the village elderly, led a group of eight to Majhuwa Gaun in Kathmandu on Friday with the hope that they could bring back some relief materials. They had heard it was being distributed at the Tamang village.

Photo: Tsering Dolker Gurung

Photo: Tsering Dolker Gurung

Moktan and his group, which included his daughter in law, neighbours and grandchildren, hiked an hour to reach Majhuwa. They are still angry for being left out of the distribution route, by both the government and the private sector.

“Villages located above and below us have all received some form of relief but we haven’t received anything,” says Moktan who is in his seventies.

The VDC did provide each family with 2kg rice bags but as Bishnu Prasad Luitel, another villager told me: “It was a one-time thing.”

When a truck carrying meal packets and water arrived at Majhuwa in the afternoon, Moktan and his villagers were careful not to rush ahead.

“The villagers here will get angry if we receive anything before them. They have the first right to everything that comes here,” he says while waiting for the crowd to clear so he can go collect his share. Luckily, there was enough for everybody.

An hour later, four cars loaded with blankets reach Majhuwa.

As before, the villagers from Chhatre Deurali stand at the end of the queue. This time they are not so lucky. Halfway through the line, the supply runs out and the cars head back.

Chhatre Deurali is not an isolated, inaccessible village. It is situated right on the outskirts of Kathmandu, leaving one to think:  if this village is not receiving aid, how must  the villagers further away be faring?

Tsering Dolker Gurung

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