Woes of sole Kusunda family

GORKHA: Ever since her husband died 15 years ago, 75-year-old Sumitra Kusundi has been toiling day in day out in order to provide for her offspring.

Her old age has been detrimental to her efforts of earning for the family's upkeep. She works for others on daily wage basis to look after her seven-member family. She is worried about the future of the only family in the district. The sole Kusunda family in the whole district is without resources. They have rented a room at Terhakilo area in Gorkha Municipality.

Sumitra's daughter-in-law Kamala said the family had not been able to pay the rent for the last one year due to the lack of a considerable income.

''We have not asked the government for a lot of property. Our only demand is a permanent shelter,'' said Sumitra. ''Allow us to go back to the jungle or rehabilitate us in this new settlement of ours." Chet Narayan, her only son, who had gone to Malaysia for employment, returned home recently empty-handed.

They had borrowed Rs 300,000 while sending him abroad but are without means to pay it back. The Kusundas lamented that they were not allowed to go to the forest to collect firewood for sale, which used to be their means of livelihood. There are 60 Kusunda families in the whole of the country.