Being independent is what Nepalis seek

Nepalis are bearing the brunt of crisis everyday, and our readers say they won’t give up. Whatever situation is being created Nepalis have found a way to cope with it, for how long is a question though. Still they believe something will come up and not losing hope is what they can boast in their attitude. They wish if only our country becomes self-sustained...

Digging deep down, I have found two distinct human attitudes during hardships: those who adapt and those who evolve. While most people in the world including Nepalis are satisfied adapting in any given situation, evolution is unlikely to come; we know how Nepalis adapted in the history, we even survived well in the earthquake crisis and at present too, we are comforting ourselves from lining up in the queues.

But adaptation is just a bad habit human beings acquire unless the minority brings out some evolution for the sake of mankind. Whether we get these limited sources of energy or not, either way mankind is going to have the same crisis Nepal is facing now; then shall we line up for Mars?

We must be able to take this blockade as a good opportunity to evolve within; we should research over new energy sources over the one we’re using.


It has been more than two-and-a-half months of the unofficial blockade. Due to this we have been grappling hardships in our lives. There is shortage of petroleum products, hospitals are running out of medicines and blood pouch for emergency services. Millions of students are deprived of their education across the country. With this usage of electric appliances has increased leading to power overload.

In such a time Nepalis need to be calm and they are.

— Saroj Wagle, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu

Attitude of the most of the people in such a time is to go to foreign countries to earn their living. The country is filled with fuel crisis, power cuts, black marketing of fuel and the future seems bleak.

Nepal has gone 20 years backward in development. At first from earthquake and now this political problem. Every person is saying the same thing, ‘when will this end?’. The attitude of the people is stooping by the day. This should stop otherwise it will create destruction

— Saif Ali

More than a month’s long economic embargo has disrupted the lives of the Nepalis. Nepal’s dependency on the neighbouring country is utterly reflected on the scarcity of petroleum products, cooking gas, et cetera. This problem is intense, yet we have found alternatives to it. People are looking up to firewood and other equipment as a replacement for cooking gas and as for the shortage of fuel, they are managing it — be it by buying fuel after waiting in endless queues or in the black market or by switching the mode of transportation to bicycles or even by hanging in the doors of public vehicle. Their way of living is being questioned but they are blending in with the difficulties pretty well or at least trying to. The scenario is not the same in the remote areas. People can’t afford the skyrocketing values of goods due to which their lives are at stake. There might even come a day when we are compelled to line up on the streets to get a loaf of bread. Will we be able to manage our problems then?

Though, one thing the blockade has taught us is to respect the available goods because it is the time during deficit that we learn the value of it the most.

— Samagya

Our country is currently facing a catastrophic situation caused by scarcity of cooking gas, petrol, diesel, food items, medicine and other necessities. The prices of daily commodities are skyrocketing and the black marketing is on the rise. Similarly, many have lost their jobs and right to education. Despite such difficulties, Nepalis are managing their lives with patience and perseverance. However, some are taking advantage of such situation by making quick bucks with fuel business at the boarder by hiking the prices of groceries. Likewise, the affluent and politically renowned people have an easy access to necessary essentials. But majority of Nepalis are suffering.

The attitude of people towards this situation is positive because it has inculcated a great lesson that absolute dependence on others is not always beneficial. Thus, the government and the agitating parties should act fast to end the ongoing political deadlock.

— Sar Kumar Pun, Pokhara

The challenges that people faced during the political crisis across the nation has demonstrated the resilient nature of the landlocked Himalayan nation. The political unrest has strengthened the people and ensured the centuries old harmonious bond among the different communities sharing this united nation as their proud homeland remain intact. The political crisis has also made us rethink and taught us to work unified towards becoming more independent and look for alternative energy resources to cater to the need of the nation. Furthermore, the crisis has taught the nation to explore the reduce-reuse-recycle model to survive sustainably with

limited resources.

Nepal needs to move towards more joint ventures and private-public partnership models in exploring alternative renewable energy sources such as hydropower, solar power and use of wind mills or wind turbines. The numerous rivers, streams, rivulets and other surface water resources distributed across the nation if explored sincerely could generate substantial hydropower for use in the domestic as well as industrial sectors. A noble way of energy harvesting from rivers using underwater wind turbines has now been developed in the west and could be explored successfully in Nepal too. Solar panels can generate renewable energy from sun throughout the year and can prove to be extremely efficient in running regular office activities and household chores. A new Nepal has thus made her way to the world and is in the right threshold to adapt to more eco-friendly and renewable energy sources for the future.

​— Saikat Kumar Basu, Lethbridge AB, Canada

I am penning down my words for this article with no more than 25 per cent back up in my laptop and yes not to mention in complete darkness. From toddler to elderly, daily life has been crippled for each and every one of us due to the unofficial blockade. It has been the common view to see passengers hanging off the roof, long serpentine queue of gasoline and bikes. People are managing their lives through black marketing and all. The condition being deteriorated day by day is leading the nation to crisis of economy at macro level. But at the end of the day, we can see every Nepali making bread and butter for their family even though they are reeling from every deprivation. This easily concludes that we the people of Nepal don’t bend our knees even in the worst scenario. All in all, it may take years for us to comeback to real time development but we are certain that Nepal will rise again!

— Rohan

Nepalis are known for their resilience and ability to bounce back, no matter how big the difficulties. Though, the country was trying to revive from its grave loss in the aftermath of massive earthquake, the unexpected blockade proved to be a new and bigger crisis.

To face the new challenge, Nepalis have already started to use different measures to sustain life. Cooking food on firewood or electricity, travelling by public transportation or walking short distances, sharing with each other in time of need and adopting other alternatives are some of them. Now, we should be more than ready to change our consumption pattern and behaviour.

As every dark cloud has its silver lining, we, Nepalis should try to learn a lesson from this crisis.

— Jiya Thapa, Lubhoo-3, Lalitpur

It’s been more than two months, the blockade is still on. Yet the government has not been progressive to solve these problem. Madeshi parties are adamant about their own demands. And so far Nepalis have been managing on their own. People are using alternatives for many things and they are helping each other. Nepalis do not give up easily. No matter how long the crisis goes on, it binds people more and more.

— Anonymous

This turmoil has taught us a lesson — to stay strong and independent as a nation. According to my dad, one of my neighbours, who is a farmer, 30 years ago, proudly said he would spend Rs 5 per year to purchase kerosene and salt only. For the rest, he was able to manage from all the products grown in his field. This shows how independent he was to manage on his own. This is the real attitude towards hardship. People should rely on in-house production rather than imports. At the same time, the government should promote in-house production for survival and growth. Though we are not able to generate petrol or gas, we can generate electricity, solar energy and natural fossil. If we had focused on these issues in the past, the situation would not have been be as dire as it is now.

Nepalis are able to manage on their own despite this uproar, which is really praiseworthy. But, there is still a question in people’s mind — till when can we bear this problem? Even the sky has a limit.

— Rujan Kayastha, Bhaktapur

Due to the unofficial blockade, black market is flourishing in our country. Nepalis are bound to hang on the bus to reach their destinations like school, college, office et cetera. Whatever situation arises we Nepalis are able to manage. Like helping others has increased. In hardships people have not changed their attitude towards their work. For example people have been going to their work anyhow.

— YP Sapkota, Lokanthali, Bhaktapur

Yes it is true that we are managing our daily lives despite the hardships we have been facing everyday. There’s no fuel and we have been forced to revert to alternative sources like firewood and bicycles. The fact is there are no options are left for us but to face the dire situation in this testing time. First, there was the dreadful quake and now we have this ongoing crisis. From education to tourism, from inflation to development, from peace to happiness... everything has been affected. The solution for the crisis to Nepal is to learn to be independent and make use of the available resources that we possess. Hydro energy, solar energy, wind energy et cetera must be utilised to the fullest capacity. People are depending on firewood which will eventually result in deforestation. Black marketing is rampant. The authorities must deal with the defaulters strictly. The border with our northern neighbours must be made accessible at the earliest. This crisis has taught us an immense lesson. We are managing to face the crisis but we should not forget that even if the situation eases tomorrow we should be prepared to deal with such unpleasant scenarios in future.

— Birendra Das, Dhapasi

In a way I think Nepalis are able to manage their situation because of their good attitude to what life throws at us. But nowadays situation is becoming worse than before. Black market is increasing day by day. History is proof that Nepalis are interdependent and laborious but somehow that spirit is broken yet we are trying our best to cope with the situation.

— Sangita Mijar, Nuwakot

Due to ongoing unofficial blockade Nepalis are suffering. All these things are evident and we people are compelled to face the situation. If the neighbouring country is challenging us with the unofficial blockade, then we will learn to become independent.

— Anonymous

This is the best opportunity to do something to produce energy in our own country, mainly hydroelectricity because crucial situation will force us to do better. Suppose, if this blockade was withdrawn, everyone would have forgotten this until another blockade. So, this crucial moment is likely to recur until we become self-reliant. This fuel crisis isn’t new in Nepal, we have been facing such crisis from a long time but nothing has been done yet.

There is no option for us than to wait for the withdrawal of blockade. This is ridiculous that Nepal, the second richest nation in water sources in the world, is reeling under such power crisis. Even though the situation is getting worse and people are facing too much problems, the leaders have not eased the situation yet.

— Anonymous

I see hope on the Nepalis’ faces. They’re optimistic in the worst situation. People are struggling to live with crisis where the situation has not altered yet. Nobody can stay without having food, so they managed firewood for fuel. And buying fuel in the black market is what they are left with.

— Pawan Ram Lamichhane

We can smile and be happy during hardships like scarcity of fuel which has been making Nepal suffer. I have seen vehicles in serpentine queues in order to get fuel. Due to this we are becoming angry towards the current government that hasn’t found any permanent solution to solve this problem. Although the present government led by PM KP Sharma Oli has been assuring to bring fuel from our northern neighbour China, it has been limited only to speeches and newspapers. It is mainly due to the availability of petroleum products in black markets that we are still surviving. Otherwise our life would have been in limbo. But for how long can we sustain like this and what about those who cannot afford those exuberant prices in the black?

— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor

Current situation of Nepal is horrible. The government has said that they have provided electricity facilities to cook food in the morning and evening but unfortunately we are not getting those facilities. It has been three days that there is no electricity at my home. Although, people are managing their daily life through alternative source of cooking and black marketing, this situation will have negative effect on the long run. Upper class people somehow manage their daily life purchasing things even though in black but what about those lower class people who can’t afford to buy cooking gas and petrol at high price? I think it’s time political parties do something and we see an end to all the problems.

— Kabita Poudel, Mid Baneshwor, Kathmandu

We have shown our patience and resilient attitude time and again when the country has been hit hard by internal conflicts or natural disasters in the past. In the current scenario too, despite facing severe hardships, we have managed to keep our calm. It’s obvious that we want the crisis to end soon. Nonetheless, we are proud to live amidst this struggle, with our heads held high, rather than by meekly surrendering to the antagonists. We have evolved into the most capable people in discovering alternative solutions to the worst of problems. There is no doubt that even if there were a global energy crisis, we Nepalis would survive the longest. Hope and faith are what we are made of. No matter how harsh the situation, we will manage to put a smile on our faces.

— Prakshit Raj Shakya, New Road, Kathmandu

At first, I thought the whole situation will lead to war which is futile. When I pondered for a while, I came to a conclusion that it is next to impossible as we are not cable of tackling with our neighbouring country. So, the only choice Nepalis have is to opt for simpler life by being less dependent on materialist things.

No matter how developed a country is life has never been easy to anyone. We have been able to tackle with the sufferings but differently. When government fails to supply things smoothly to common people, they have no choice but to get things in the black market irrespective of the price. People risk their lives in crowded bus while government sits back and just looks. People have no choice because a cab will charge you Rs 800 just to reach New Road from Sinamangal. While travelling in a crowded bus recently, I saw death every second.

We are paying the price for being too dependent on our neighbouring countries.

— Pratibha Bhandari

It seems like people are likely to be silent observer in the absence of the necessity commodity, which runs our daily lives. Still people are not protesting against the Government, which directly points out that people will not bow their head against the blockade.

And then there is black marketing. The black-marketing practice has been done in front of the Government officials but they prefer to not see it because every individual’s eyes and mouth have been sealed with the black money.

The manufacturing industries, small scale industries, schools, colleges, hospitals, hotels, lodges, restaurants, cafés, retailer shops, malls have been directly affected with huge amount of loss due to the ongoing crisis.

— Saksham Shrestha, Chappal Karkhana, Kathmandu

Besides black marketing and waiting in queue for fuel we are helping each other in such a situation be it by giving lifts or by cooperating with each other in a crowded bus. Even in this tough situation we are not panicking. Instead, we are moving forward. Whatever the problem has resulted due to blockade, we still are able to manage our life.

This blockade has not demotivated us. Rather it has taught us to stay calm and help each other even during hard times.

— Rojina Timsina, Chabahil

In this crisis, black marketing has increased to such a level where the highest authority like NOC itself is engaged in corruption. On a positive note about this downturn there is increase in the solidarity. We are trying to make sure we co-operate with the things we own right now. Also talking about the crisis of petrol, nowadays people are ready to buy petrol in black for Rs 500 per litre but haggle for a rupee while buying vegetables with the vendors.

This may be the first time in the history that we are supporting our government hoping for something good in the future from the newly elected Prime Minister.

— Anonymous