Anxiety grips students as festivals loom

KATHMANDU: With festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath just round the corner, people living in Kathmandu and planning to go home for the festivals are caught up in anxiety.

They are in a Catch-22 situation whether they are able to go home or not amid the ongoing agitation in the southern plains and the lack of transport owing to the fuel shortage due to obstructions at the border points.

The failure to open bus-ticket booking for the people willing to go home for festivals has added to their woes. Usually, ticket booking opens about 20 to 25 days before Dashain.

Among those affected most by the agitation are students living in Kathmandu. The students, who are struggling to survive in lack of liquefied petroleum gas and fuel in particular due to the protest and the obstruction, fear that whether they can make it home for Dashain.

They say that rations they have stored can feed them only till Dashain and the stock of liquefied petroleum gas they have is also depleting.

The agitations continue to cripple life in the plains for nearly two months, affecting local people in various ways.

Sharada Khadka, a student from Kailali, now living in Kathmandu, said that the stock of her rations is running short and it would last till Dashain. "I am worried now that I can make it to home for Dashain due to the agitations. If I fail to do so, I may go hungry in lack of rations and liquefied petroleum gas," she said.

Similar is the case with Jiban BK, a student of Kohalpur, Banke, said that his stock of rations feeds him till Dashain. "If I fail to go home for Dashain, it will be difficult for me to survive here in Kathmandu in lack of rations."

Kanchan Oli, who is studying in the Tri Chandra Campus in the Capital, said that she hoped that the situation would ease after the promulgation of the constitution, but the result is not as expected. "We hoped that development of the country would start after the promulgation of the constitution, but the situation is different now," she said.

Likewise, Sita Bhandari from Bardiya said that they have been facing problem to go to college due lack of transport services, following the acute shortage of petroleum products.

"I am unable to pay attention to my upcoming exams as the food stuffs and money brought from home started depleting," said Mukunda Bhandari from Kanchanpur .

Ranju Rai from Sunsari is more worried whether her plan to meet all family members and relatives during Dashain would flop.

She also urged the government to create environment conducive for people to go home for Dashain in an easy manner by settling the existing political logjam.