Panchthar, October 3
While the entire country is in a festive mood with the beginning of Dashain, the festival has failed to bring joy to people of the Majhi settlement on the banks of the Tamor River that borders Panchthar and Terhathum districts.
Majhi people have failed to harvest paddy crops for the past two years after construction of the Tamor Corridor destroyed a canal two years ago. This has ushered in more pain than joy to the locals during Dashain.
The under-construction corridor has not only destroyed the canal but also buried a paddy field and turned it barren.
Majhi people bemoaned that they were having a hard time managing two meals a day, forget about celebrating Dashain.
Umesh Majhi, a local, lamented that the under-construction Tamor corridor had robbed the livelihood and happiness of the Majhi people.
Earlier, more than 150 Majhi families of Majhitar, Nakkaleghat, and Hakpare used to eke out their living rowing boats in the river. Construction of the bridge over the river along the Mid-hill Lokmarga had seized the Majhi people’s source of income.
Then, they started fishing for their livelihood. They had to wash their hands off this means of livelihood too after people started using poison and electric current in the river.
Jash Bahadur Majhi commented that destruction of the canal by the under-construction corridor had robbed Majhis of their last option — cultivation.
Majhi people gather, hold meetings and deliberate on a daily basis but they have failed to come up with an alternative source of income for survival.
A version of this article appears in print on October 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.