Nepal | August 04, 2020

Family of deceased in dire straits

Himalayan News Service
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Six members of a family, who had lived in India for the last 24 years, returned to their hometown in Badimalika Municipality, Bajura, after the COVID-19 crisis affected their lives in India.

Kalamati Damai, along with her ill husband and other family members returned to Majhigaun of the municipality from India following the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the virus in India. They stayed in the quarantine facility established in the local Satyabadi Secondary School soon after they reached the district.

A family in abject poverty awaiting assitance at Badimalika Municipality, Bajura, on Thursday. Photo: THT

Kalamati’s husband Bhupendra committed suicide in the quarantine facility on June 12, two days after they reached the home district. He had been suffering from asthma since many years and Kalamati earned bread for the family by working as a household help in Delhi of India.

Police said Bhupendra had tested positive for COVID-19 in Dhangadi after his death.

Kalamati has no property in the village, not even a house to live in. She did not even have money to buy clothes to carry out the last rites of her husband.

With tears rolling from her eyes, she said she could not carry out the death rituals of her husband for 13 days as per Hindu tradition. She buried her husband near the quarantine facility instead. “No one supported me even to buy a cloth to wrap the body of my husband,” she said.

She is now worried about feeding the children. “The ward office has helped with 30 kg rice and we are staying in a shed,” she said.

The family went to the village after they tested negative in the PCR test. She rued her husband might have committed suicide as he was fed up with poverty. Ward Chair Damber Mahat said the family is facing extreme poverty.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 3, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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