It is already more than two months since the devastating earthquake struck Nepal. Within these two months, a lot of work has been done. It may not have been enough or perfect but we must accept that things have been done. In comparison to the international INGOs, Nepal Government and Nepali youths have proved to be very effective.
There is no use crying over spilled milk, but the only thing that we can do is learn lessons from it. So now - the huge task of reconstructing our damaged infrastructures has to begin. Donors assembly has already taken place and billions of dollars have been pledged, but the challenge of managing such a mammoth and critical task has just began.
We, Nepalis, may not be living in an ideal society and this makes any task the government initiates very difficult. The threats from goons to officials to receive government relief packages and dishonesty on the part of relief distributing officers serve testimony to our weak and improper societal values. Our nation’s future rests on raising the ethics and morality of the whole society. So how do we help earthquake victims? Should we give them grants for reconstruction or loans? And, how much should we give?
The government is going to provide subsidized loans to rebuild houses for those who have the capacities to pay back the loans. That would mean that the government will alienate those who have no capacity to repay.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining on the edges of all dark clouds. What if the government does not give grants to people—but instead jobs? The government is not broke; the government coffers are teeming with funds from national and international donors. Let us do something creative. Let’s get back to the board rooms and draft the most ambitious projects we can afford—and employ the earthquake victims. You might be thinking—but these people do not have skills. Again, that is an opportunity— the government has funds to train them.
As we start the reconstruction process, there is a huge unmet demand for construction workers. I urge the government to start training programs in every city and village to build houses.
After the earthquake, Nepali youths carried out relief operations unselfishly. Even the political parties have come forward and volunteered aid for the cause for a certain period of time. Why does the government not come with projects so that our youths can contribute to the nation’s development? Why do we waste this precious resource?