Ministers mother, sister taking refuge in Chatara

CHATARA: The mother of Defence Minister Bidhya Devi Bhandari has been staying in the Shriram Shanti Nikunja Helpless Women Service Ashram at Chataradham in Sunsari’s Barahchhetra VDC. Sixty-nine-year-old Mithila Pande has been staying in the charity home with the minister’s 37-year-old sister Shushila for the last eight years.

Himal Rai, a journalist based in Chatara, said, “Bhandari is now a minister after holding several posts in the ruling CPN-UML, but her mother is spending her elderly life in the Ashram.”

Mithila brought her daughter Sushila to the welfare shelter since the latter is sick. People who are familiar with them say Shushila helps in the kitchen work in Ashram. Of her three sons, Tejendra and Tekendra live in the USA with their families. Tejendra has a house in Kalopul, Kathmandu while the old lady’s youngest son has one in Mandikhatar. “Whatever my situation, I always wish for the success of my children. Their achievement makes me happy,” she sighed. “Bidhya’s success has made me happier still.” She said she never had any ill will for her children despite their attitude and behaviour.

Shushila said she was proud of her sister’s success. “We sometimes go to Kathmandu to see her and her children, but our sisters hardly ever come here,” she added.

Dipak Bhujel, a local said Mithila calls on well off people in the locality whenever she needs some financial assistance.