Dhading, May 26
The Chepang community in the southern parts of Dhading face acute shortage of food every year. People from the Chepang community live on wild fruits and stinging nettle after their food grains start running out.
Nepal Chepang Union Central Chair Jitendra Chepang says the Chepang community in Benighat Rorang Rural Municipality faces food crisis for most part of the year. There are 376 Chepang households in Brushbang village of Dhading.
Tek Bahadur Chepang, a local, said they could not afford to buy food from the market. “The Chepangs are compelled to eat whatever is found in the jungle,” he added. Children of the community also suffer from malnutrition due to lack of nutritious food.
Not only food crisis, but shortage of drinking water has also hit the community hard.
Another local, Prem Bahadur Chepang, said they have to walk for three hours to fetch a pitcher of water.
“We have to spend the whole day just fetching a pitcher of water,” he added.
Despite hardships Chepangs cannot migrate even though their produce lasts for only three months a year. They said they could not buy land elsewhere to migrate to another place.
A version of this article appears in print on May 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.