But in a month, as the monsoon season tapers off, the river will soon shrink, and the water will be low enough to allow locals to ride or wade across. The ferry will then close till next year.
This is Chaudhary’s last year working as a human bridge, having decided that his four other business partners would rotate their turns operating the boat. So, his next turn will come after 12 years, when he will be 38 years old. Besides, by then the government may finally build the bridge, and there will be no need for the ferry.
Till then, Chaudhary says he will have to roam neighbouring districts in search of a job, or even go abroad, taking him away from his family.
Says Chaudhary, “I was in Dhangadi doing odd jobs before this, but the earning was minimal, it wasn’t enough to support my children and old parents, so I have to keep moving.”