Dolakha, May 25
Sixty-seven-year-old Dal Bahadur Shrestha of Bhushapheda in Shailung Rural Municipality, Dolakha, missed out on the list of beneficiaries of the housing grant. As a result, he could not receive the state-entitled grant, when many others in his village did. A genuine earthquake victim, Shrestha now hopes the elected local representatives will help him.
“Although I lost my home to the quake, I couldn’t get any grant, apparently because my name was missing from the beneficiaries’ list. Now, the only hope for me is the recently elected chairperson of the rural municipality or the ward chairperson, who could do something to help us,” he said.
Another quake victim Salina Shrestha, 35, is also optimistic that the elected representatives will help her family receive the grant. “We were left in the lurch after the government didn’t recognise us as victims despite the fact that we lost our house to the tremor. I hope the elected representatives will help us,” she said.
In fact, it’s not only Dal Bahadur and Sarina who are pinning their hopes on the elected representatives after they couldn’t receive the housing grant after their names was mistakenly excluded from the official list of beneficiaries.
On his part, Shukradhwoj Yonjan, who was elected ward chairperson from Shailung Rural Municipality, has pledged to do the needful. “Now I’m learning about what can be done to include the names of those missed out families,” he said, adding that providing justice to those whose names were missed would be his first priority.
Meanwhile, the then Bhushapheda VDC Secretary Bipra Khadka has also informed about the ongoing initiatives to help the victims missed out in the list. “Of the 394 complaint forms filled in the names of those missed out victims, they were addressed to the NRA,” he said.
As per the data provided by Khadka, 582 families were included in the list of beneficiaries for the first instalment of housing grant from the VDC. NRA district coordination committee of Dolakha admitted some mistakes in collecting names of beneficiaries.
“There were mistakes while collecting the names of beneficiaries, which will be rectified now by including those missed out names,” said the coordination committee Dolakha Office Chief Sagar Acharya.
A version of this article appears in print on May 26, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.