Bone-chilling cold hits Dom community hard

Rajbiraj, December 30

The Dom community has been facing a tough time after the bone-chilling weather following the cold wave increased in the past one week at Chhinamasta Rural Municipality-based Marik (Dom) settlements in Saptari.

The locals in the community were in fear that they would die owing to continuous cold wave and incessant cold. The community has been facing the problems of inadequate warm clothes, nutritious food, good shelter, among others.

Around one-and-a-half dozen Dom families have been compelled to spend their nights under  thatched-roof huts. Dom Promotion Society, Saptari Chairman Yukti Lal Marik said the Marik families did not have an inch of land registered in their name. He said they had been living on unregistered land.

Seventy-year-old Haleshwor Marik of the Dom community has been bedridden due to excessive cold. He said it was very difficult to spend the winter season due to excessive cold. He said he was suffering from asthma and fever. “There is no other way than to pray to god,” he said. Haleshwor said the winter season was like a devil for the impoverished families. “No one is there to listen to my plight,” he bemoaned.

Another local Kapali Marik said elderly citizen and children had begun falling ill due to the bone-biting cold. “Our kids are compelled to live without clothes and no one is there to help the poor,” she said.

Almost all children in the community have not attended schools even though the municipality office had declared that 100 per cent children would get admission in schools. “How can we send our wards to the school when there is the problem of getting daily meals,” said a local, Tetar Marik. He said some children got admission in the school, but they would rather graze pigs instead of attending school owing to hunger.

Bijaya Marik said a few schoolgoing kids have also been left out due to the lack of warm clothes in the cold season.

Meanwhile, Chairman Surya Narayan Mandal of Chhinamasta Rural Municipality said the rural municipality could not provide relief to the cold victims as the responsibility of financial transaction had yet to be handed over to the chief administrative officer.

He said the problems would be addressed after completion of the village council meeting.