Porters demand bandh allowance

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 18:

Thanks to frequent bandhs, hundreds of porters are forced to sleep on empty stomach. But this time around, some of the educated porters have come up with a demand. They want the respective parties which call the bandh to provide ‘allowance’ so that they can make their ends meet. Most of the porters want some sort of economic aid to sustain themselves on bandhs. “We demand allowances either in cash or kind,” said Dhan Bahadur Magar, 34, who hails from Bhakundebesi, Kavrepalanchowk and works in Ason. He has a dependent wife and two children back in the village.

“Life is already tough and these strikes add to our problems,” he said. Magar claims to have passed high school. He blames media persons for selling their woes and not doing enough to uplift their plight. “Don’t ask anything. I am tired of speaking to the media,” he said. “Let them announce bandhs, we don’t mind, but they should also provide us allowance,” he said. Anil Timilsina, 25, hails from Dhankuta and works at Kalimati. He left his home as he was not able to complete the SLC examination. As he didn’t get any other job, he became a porter. “Life is extremely difficult on bandhs as we are forced to go to bed on empty stomach,” he said.

“The government or the concerned parties calling the bandhs should think of daily wage earners like us and provide some financial support,” he said.