LETTERS: Punish the fake victims
Apropos of the news story “Kavre administration office distributing relief to fake victims” (THT, Jan. 11, Page 5), as many as 3,500 fake victims have received relief amounts in Kavre. Interestingly, the administration has been providing the relief money even to those people who have cases filed against them at the office for being fake victims.
If it is true that genuine quake victims have been deprived of the relief assistance meant for them, how come it is possible that the district administration office could distribute the relief assistance to fake quake victims when the concerned VDC officials and representatives of the political parties had verified them at the local levels? The governments should have distributed the funds as per the recommendation of the VDC officials who are not supposed to create a fake list of people not affected by the natural disaster. The central body overseeing the relief distribution must look into this matter and punish those involved in the scam.
Saroj Wagle, Bara
Apropos of the news story “Chitwan National Park grappling with rampant encroachments” (THT, Jan 12, Page 5), it is important to mention that such a unique issue is not just the problem for Nepal but a global phenomenon affecting most developing and underdeveloped countries. The encroachments of forest belts have been a serious challenge associated with forest and biodiversity conservation around the globe. The root cause of this perennial issue is abject poverty, a vicious cycle that has been plaguing poor nations for decades. The vicious cycle has been impacting both humans and wildlife alike leading to unacceptable loss of resources for resource-poor nations.
The recent earthquake, political instability, rising prices of commodities and overall directionless politics of the nation are certainly going to impact the poorest of the poor; and more such encroachments, as observed in Chitwan National park, are going to be observed in other forest belts of Nepal. Unless the Government of Nepal is sincere in dealing with the political challenges and settle important anthropogenic issues related to conservation of forests and biodiversity, no long-term change is possible except further loss of the dwindling forest belts of the country. For a resource poor, landlocked country, if socio-economic and socio-political instabilities continue to thrive, poor people will become more dependent on local forest resources for survival and their daily sustenance, and the destruction of the forest and erosion of biodiversity will continue. Nepal has received huge financial support for reconstruction and rehabilitation of quake victims from several countries, and it is sad to note that many helpless people are living in inhuman conditions which are indirectly impacting the fragile and vulnerable ecosystems of the nation. The important question to ask is, where is this overseas cash going?
Saikat Kumar Basu, Canada