To hell and back

Kapilvastu is one of the worst conflict-hit districts of the country. Devastated over the years by the insurgency, nearly 4,000 civilians have been rendered homeless, particularly after the Maoists and irate villagers severely clashed at Shivpur, Ganeshpur, Khururiya and Gugauli VDCs in February 2005. But, thanks to the ceasefire, hundreds of families are now preparing to return home. Besides providing huge relief to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and those languishing in foreign lands, this resettlement bid is by all means a positive development for a country now moving, albeit haltingly, towards an era of national reconciliation and a permanent peace.

However, resettlement is a very serious business. Rehabilitation efforts aided by both the government and donor agencies would have to be prudently coordinated in an efficient fashion. Thousands of IDPs, many of who are virtually living as refugees in the district headquarters, have lost all their possessions. It is no doubt a Herculean task to help them rebuild their confidence and livelihood. For this, a wider national strategy would have to be designed and enforced with vigour — one that is facilitated by all the agencies concerned with active support of the locals. Time consuming as that noble endeavour would be, if a well-coordinated plan is put in place, there is no doubt all would readily extend cooperation. There would be no dearth of donor money flowing into the country. But the authorities concerned would have to absolutely ensure proper utilisation of the aid/grant with the sole interest of the resettlers in mind.