Jiri limping back to normal

RAMECHHAP: Two months after the earthquake flattened it, Jiri in Dolakha, once popular as Nepal’s Switzerland, is now trying to stand back on its feet.

Jiri, which draws tourists in hordes every year, had around 2,200 houses, but earthquakes left the famous tourist destination in utter ruins.

According to Padam Jirel, a local, the earthquake has pushed the place many years back in terms of development.

Among other things, the temblors reduced Jiri Academy to rubble with all 77 blocks of the facility, set up by Switzerland with an investment of tens of millions through Jiri Multi-purpose Development Programme, destroyed.

However, the quake has not destroyed everything, at least the zeal of the people to restore their places.

At the academy site, there are teachers working along with around 500 students to build makeshift shelters to conduct daily classes. While locals have started to living a normal life, traders and businesspersons who had earlier left the place have returned.

“The earthquake has destroyed our houses and crops. What can we do other than start all over again?” asked Ram Bahadur Jirel, another local of Jiri.

Similarly, Temba Sherpa, a trader at Jiri, said he had returned hoping to start his business.

Of around 50 hotels in Jiri, there is only one hotel which is in a condition to serve customers.