Thousands of stranded people transported to their hometowns

Kathmandu, April 21

Chandra Yonjan, 42, along with his wife and two children, were spotted on the Araniko Highway at Thimi last night at around 8:00pm. There were scores of other people waiting for a bus that would take them to their hometown in Gaurishankar Municipality, Dolakha.

Yonjan works as a bricklayer in a construction company. He was stranded in Kathmandu after the lockdown. After spending 28 days in Kathmandu, he was almost out of cash and he had no food stock left. He then decided to request the local leader in his municipality to evacuate them from here.

Following the request of stranded workers such as Yonjan, dozens of local governments from Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap and Okhaldhunga urged Bhaktapur District Administration Office to facilitate their travel. Acting on the requests of local levels, Bhaktapur DAO allowed dozens of vehicles from these local levels to take the stranded persons from Kathmandu valley to their homes.

Bhaktapur DAO said they had allowed more than 6,000 people living in Bhaktapur and adjoining districts to leave for their hometowns in the last three days.

Chief District Officer of Bhaktapur Humakala Pandey said, “Everyday, the number of people leaving the valley is increasing and we are coordinating accordingly to send them to their hometowns after verifying the details provided by the local governments outside the valley.”

Meanwhile, a philanthropic organisation, Manabiya Aastha Nepal, is providing free meals to the poor, who are leaving for their homes due to the lockdown. The organisation claimed that it had provided free food to more than 5,000 people from their food stalls set up in Bhaktapur.

The Supreme Court has also recently asked the government to safely transport stranded persons to their hometowns.

Daily wage earners and the poor have been walking for days to reach their homes after extension of the nationwide lockdown.

A version of this article appears in print on April 22, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.