One of them is Bhim Bahadur Gurung, whose mother, father, brother, sister, wife and children are all in the US. He is 50, and we found him bed-ridden on the porch of his hut in the humid heat of the Tarai. “There is no one to even bring me water,” he sighed. “If I die, there will be no one at my funeral.”
Bhim Poudel and his handicapped son are the only two members of another family still in camp. Both were infected with Covid-19, Poudel is in intensive care at the BP Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan. His son died last week, but he has not been told yet. There was no one at his son’s cremation.
Many of the elderly complain that their families abroad have forgotten them. They have their own lives now, and most of them rarely call. Families blame their elderly relatives for refusing to leave the refugee camps with them.
“They never phone, and even when I call they rarely pick up,” says Bhim Gurung. “Maybe they are all busy.”