Flood-hit rue inability to celebrate Tihar

Nawalparasi, October 21:

Though people all over the country are celebrating the Tihar festival, Tek Bahadur Majhi, a flood displaced at Pithauli Laugai cannot do so due to abject poverty.

“Poverty is a curse; though I am involved in farming all my life, most of the times I fail to manage two square meals a day for my children,” Tek Bahadur said.

“Though my children asked for new clothes in Dashain, I could not buy clothes for them; the same is the case in Tihar,” said another local, Buliram Majhi.

However, Tek Bahadur and Buliram are not the only ones who rue their fate, 204 households of Pithauli and Piprahar of Rajarhar, who were displaced after floods in the Narayani river on August 27 swept away their land and houses, are facing the same situation.

Celebrating Dashain and Tihar festivals has been a distant dream for these households displaced by floods.

The families of Majhi, Musahar and Bote communities used to earn their livelihood by fishing in the Narayani river. Majhi and Musahar people are living in temporary camps in Maharaja jungle in Shiva Mandir VDC. They said they are facing hardships and are not being able to earn their livelihood.

To add salt to their wounds, the the Chitwan National Park has barred them from fishing in the Narayani river. Around 1,100 displaced people, who are taking shelter in temporary camps, are not receiving support from any side, they lamented.

“Landowners do not trust us and don’t lend us money. In this situation how can we celebrate festivals,” said Bal Bahadur Majhi.

“We wish there were no festivals like Dashain and Tihar,” said a woman, Maya Majhi. We are compelled to work hard for our livelihood all our lives, said an elderly woman Suk Maya Majhi.