Elderly quake victims demand clothes, shelter

Kathmandu, December 28

As the temperature plummeted last week across the nation, elderly victims of the April 25 earthquake have been affected the most.

The senior citizens living in temporary shelters are having a hard time due to the freezing cold.

Chhatra Bahadur Pradhan, general secretary of National Senior Citizens Federation, said, “The elderly people are living under the open sky in remote areas.

Though some are living in temporary shelters, it does not protect them from cold.

They do not have proper shelters and are prone to winter related diseases as well as respiratory illnesses, including common cold, pneumonia and influenza, among other maladies.” Pradhan urged the government to provide them with the Rs 10,000 that was allocated to quake affected families for warm clothes.

“The relief materials that have reached the victims are insufficient. Some elderly persons are borrowing warm clothes from others, while many of them sit in front of a fire under the open sky to battle with the cold weather,” said Pradhan.

NASCIF has also requested the government to supply winter relief materials, including proper warm clothes, medicines and other logistics to senior citizens of earthquake affected areas.

“The government and concerned district authorities are trying their best, but they have not been able to continue with relief distribution efficiently and effectively due to the current crisis facing the country,” Pradhan said.

The concerned authorities need to focus on managing healthy food, proper shelters and warm clothes to save the lives of elderly people, he stressed.

The federation has also urged the Reconstruction Authority to immediately begin construction of senior citizen-friendly permanent shelters in all quake affected districts.

It also urged the District Natural Disaster Rescue Committees and other concerned organisations to coordinate and cooperate with senior citizens district organisations while constructing senior citizen-friendly permanent shelters in the districts.