No Tihar-related activities in Bhutanese refugee camps

Damak, November 9:

Though many people are busy celebrating Tihar, the festival fever has not gripped the camps of Bhutanese refugees in Jhapa and Morang.

Festivals of Hindu bring sorrow and pain for the refugees. There is no Tihar-related activity in the Beldangi-based refugee camp in Damak.

Former secretary of the Beldangi camp DP Pradhan said: “How can we celebrate the festivals when we have been finding it difficult to manage food for ourselves.”

“We also want to celebrate the festivals, but cannot fulfil our desires for want of funds,” Anita Dangal, a refugee, said, adding, “The assistance provided by donors can hardly enable us to celebrate the festivals.”

Spokesperson for the Bhutan People’s Party, Gopal Gurung, said there is no tradition of celebrating festivals in the camps.

“Refugees are not concerned about celebrating festivals. We are only concerned about our problem,” he said, adding, “ All the refugees, who are for repatriation, are thinking of celebrating the festivals after returning to Bhutan.”

“I have not celebrated Dashain and Tihar for 17 years,” chairman of the Bhutan People’s Party, Balaram Poudel said.

Over one lakh Bhutanese refugees have been living in seven camps in Jhapa and Morang.