Rautahat, July 16
After being displaced from their homes, majority of families of the Dalit settlement in Badaharwa in Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality are now living in the open on the western banks of the Bagmati River.
Though the floodwaters have receded in the settlement now, the families are yet to return to their homes, some of which were swept away while others have been damaged and require repairs before being put to use.
Fifty-five-year-old Mahawati Devi Das has been staying on the embankment with her nine-member family for the past five days. “Me and adult members of our family have hardly eaten anything ever since we came here, while the kids are living on biscuits and noodles,” she lamented, decrying government agencies for delay in relief distribution.
Another victim, 90-year-old Ram Awatar Das, appears wasted due to hunger. “When floodwaters gushed into our home, I couldn’t even move, and so it was my grandchildren and my daughter-in-law, who carried me out to this place,” he shared, lamenting the apathy of government authorities towards distribution of relief.
Sixty-year-old Ramsakhi Devi Koiri’s leg was fractured while trying to escape the floods. Her 10-member family is staying under a tarp on the embankment now, without any relief coming their way.
A version of this article appears in print on July 17, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.