Four children in Badimalika Municipality, Bajura, have been left in the lurch after their mother died, and their father remarried and went to India.

Ward 2 Chairman Damber Mahat said the children were stranded after their father treated the innocent kids inhumanely. He said that seven-year-old Karuna Nepali, sixyear-old Kopila, four-year-old Ismaya and three-year-old Dhurba were in dire straits.

Their mother Rekha Damai died in the course of treatment in India two years ago. Their father Binaya Nepali abandoned the children after he married again. The helpless children are now under the protection of their elderly grandparents Arjun and Bishna.

Impoverished Arjun said that it was very difficult to care for the kids.

He said that the kids were surviving by begging in the villages. Bishna said in tears that she had reached out to the villagers for the children's daily meals.

The elderly couple are facing even more problems due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. Arjun said that he worked in the villages and managed food for the kids before the pandemic. "But now we are begging food for the kids," he said. He added that Karuna was a second-grader and Kopila was a first-grader and the others were yet to start school. He said that he could hardly manage food for the kids.

Being Dalit, Arjun' family worked for the landlord and the food obtained from their landlord could not last even for six months. Arjun said the children asked for new clothes when they saw children in the village wearing new clothes. "I have no option, but to beg in the village," he added.

Ward Chair Mahat said that he sometimes managed food for the kids. "School is very far away for the children," he said, urging urged all to help the hapless children.

Badimalika Municipality Woman and Children Department Chief Keshari Rokaya said that the children were offered Rs 1,000 each this fiscal with the help of UNICEF.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.