A decade on, victims of insurgency still living with scars

Kathmandu, September 1

Victims of the Maoist insurgency at a programme here today shared that even over a decade after the end of the armed conflict, they are struggling to eke out a living.

Bhumi Sara Thapa, 71, of Banke shared that both her son and daughter-in-law were killed during the insurgency. She has been taking care of her two grandsons and a granddaughter since the death of their parents. “I break stones to earn money. How can I afford to pay for their education?” she said.

Another war victim Laxmi (name changed) shared that she was forcibly married to a combatant and made to join the rebel army. She sustained head injuries which led her to lose her memory for the next six months. “When I regained my memory, I was already married to a man whom I had never seen or known before and was already two-month pregnant,” she narrated.

She further recounted, “I gave birth to a baby girl in the camp and after six days Nepali Army soldiers chased us out of the village. I had to run for my life leaving my daughter behind. I could not breastfeed her for another four days.” She said she was now under medication for some mental disease.

Yet another war victim Bishna Panta of Kanchanpur shared that her husband was an army man who died in the battlefield. She said she heard the bad news on the radio. According to her, she has been suffering from psychological disorder ever since she lost her husband only two years after marriage. She said that at that time she was two-month pregnant. “Now I want education for my daughter and martyrdom for my late husband,” she said.