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No quake relief for outsiders

No quake relief for outsiders

Ramita Thapa of Nalgad municipality-3 got hold of her two kids and ran out of the house when the quake struck on the night of Nov 3. While rushing out, she sustained leg injuries.

She has been living under a tent on the side of the road at Nayabasti in Khalanga, the district headquarters, after her house collapsed in the quake. Traumatized, Thapa now feels “her body and the ground shaking all the time” and does not dare go beyond the road. Deeply traumatized, her 14-year-old daughter cries even in her sleep, with the nightmare of the quake still haunting her.  

Rendered homeless, most of the inhabitants of the district headquarters have been spending their days and nights without basic amenities like food, shelter and medicine.

Those people, who were living on rent before the quake struck, complain that their problems are far worse than their landlords’. 

“Government authorities distribute tarpaulin and other relief materials to house-owners only, effectively depriving outsiders like us of relief,” laments Milan Chadara of Thaple, Bheri Municipality-3. 

Chadara narrated how officials at the local ward office turned him away when he visited the office asking for a tarp. “The tarps are for house-owners only,” he quoted the officials, lamenting that people from outside the district headquarters do not even get relief materials like the tarpaulin.

Milan has been living in the open with his family after multiple requests for relief went in vain. Ganesh Thapa, also from the backwaters of Jajarkot, is faring a bit better after getting a tarp upon approaching Suresh Sunar, the Chief District Officer of Jajarkot.

 Like Milan, Jhalak Malla of Thaple has been living in the open with his family. He says, “Initially, authorities collected the details of people like us, stating that those living in rented rooms at the district HQ were also eligible for relief. Now, however, they are saying that we are not eligible for relief. This has really, really saddened us.” 

Many survivors in Barekot aren’t faring any better. Prem Bohara of Barekot rural municipality-4 says he no longer feels like going for work, with the aftershocks rattling Jajarkot every now and then.

According to Bohara, the quake and aftershocks have terrorized children and senior citizens the most. 

With the quake and the aftershocks destroying their homes and schools, children are deeply worried about their studies and their future. The 6.4 magnitude quake has brought Jajarkot's development to a halt.