|Relief still a dream for temblor victims|
TAPLEJUNG: Sita Acharya of Phoolbari VDC-5 has been staying in the open since Sunday, when a magnitude-6.8 earthquake caused the collapse of her house.
What hurts her the most during these troubled times is the indifference of government authorities towards quake victims like her.
“Four nights into the quake, no one has even bothered to ask how I have been faring, let alone provide assistance,” laments Acharya, scoffing at the government for its indifference towards the victims.
“Such is the situation that I don’t even have a tent,” bemoans the woman, whittling sticks for rigging up a temporary shelter for her and the children.
The quake has left a traumatised Dataram Niraula, resident of Nighuradin VDC-1, homeless and utterly helpless. Ever since the quake destroyed his house, he has been
spending dreadful nights in the open, chanting mantras dedicated to different gods.
As nobody has come to our rescue, I have no option but to recite mantras with hope of divine help,” Niraula says, recalling that a temblor had turned his house into rubbles some 13 years ago as well.
“In the quake of 2045 BS, the government had at least provided me a tent and Rs 5,000 for building a house,” Niraula recounts.
Dhana Shrestha, Manabir Luhar, Khadga Gahatraj and Maheshwor Bhattarai of the same village have been facing a similar ordeal after the quake, despite Taplejung
CDO Devraj Dhakal’s assertion that relief distribution has already begun.
It has been learnt that most affected parts of the district, including Lelep, Ghunsa, Olangchungola, Yamphudin, Khewang, are on top priority when it comes to providing relief. In Dokhu VDC, which is close to the district headquarters, most affected families have already got the assistance.
“In Taplejung district alone, the tremor has displaced more than 150 households. As we do not have enough relief materials to meet their needs, we have demanded more assistance from the centre,” says CDO Dhakal, pledging to provide relief to all affected parts gradually.