Phidim folks facing shortage of rice in run-up to Dashain

Phidim, September 28:

At a time when Dashain is around the corner, people of Oyam, Chayangthapu, Palaicha, Sidin, Memeng and Lurunpa in Panchthar district have run out of stock of rice, a staple food. Locals of Wards No. 1 and 2 of the VDC visit shops in Skuldanda of Tharpu VDC in pursuit of rice, only to return empty-handed.

“Everytime we visit shops in Skuldanda, shopkeepers come up with the same reply: We do not have rice,” say villagers. “We are having a hard time due to the shortage of rice,” Chalansingh Rai of Oyam-1 says, adding, “The shortage has hit the children the hardest.” Even if there is supply of rice, each family just gets five kg of rice, say villagers. Shopkeepers say supply of rice has come to a halt for 15 days. “It takes more than 15 days to bring 15 quintals rice to the district from Jhapa,” says a local trader, Shiv Pokhrel, adding, “As only 15 quintals of rice is supplied, it is very difficult to sell rice to local residents as per their demand.”

“Food crisis has hit us hard at a time when Dashain is round the bend,” locals grumble.

“We have no option except to face the food crisis until provisions are made to supply rice,” says a local, Buddhi Man Rai.