DHADING, August 12
Though more than three months have passed since the massive earthquake of April 25 hit the country, earthquake victims of the Chepang community have been left in a lurch with no relief and rehabilitation so far in Dhading.
Chepang victims of the remote southern belt of the district complained that their settlements had been completely razed to the ground in the first major shock in April. They have been sheltering inside tents ever since. Though their houses were completely damaged, they were deprived of the relief amount of Rs 15,000, which the government had assured it would distribute to the victims, because the team of technicians reported only ‘partial damage’ to their houses.
“Hence, we have no option but to sleep at night under leaking tents during the monsoon,” lamented Ram Bahadur Chepang of Benighat, Orwang.
Jitendra Chepang, Chairman of Nepal Chepang Association, said they were deprived of government relief, as the team of technicians deployed by the state did not reach the remote rural areas. Hence, they did not report the genuine data on destruction there. Many Chepang quake victims have been crammed in sheds for want of shelter, he added. He complained that though the government has been launching various relief programmes for tremor victims, they have yet to reach the targeted group.
According to data, around 18,000 Chepang people reside in Jogimara, Dhusha, Benighat, Mahadevsthan, Pida, Kumpur, Thakre, Goganpani VDCs of the district. As many of the VDCs are located in remote areas, they have had to face a tough time for survival.
According to the association, more that 80 per cent of the total population of the community have to depend on others for food and for more than half the year, they have to wander around seeking food.
A version of this article appears in print on August 13, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.