It’s been almost 10 months after the massive earthquake and people still fear even remembering it. Nearly, ten thousand people got killed, about 850,000 houses got destroyed and millions are displaced. In addition, unofficial blockade by India has further aggravated the situation with stark fuel crisis and price hikes in the commodities.
Tired of Kathmandu’s daily struggle, I made my mind to visit my best friend's place i.e. Tupche, Nuwakot. It’s almost 3.5 hrs drive northwest of Kathmandu. It is also one of the worst hits by earthquake. Her home was destroyed and they were rebuilding it so thought I could lend some assistance and also meet my friend.
After spending almost 8 days at the village, I came to realize how women despite being severely affected are playing pivotal role in handling the disaster and how late it has already become to act for the lives of the people.
Delay in rebuilding
Monsoon came and passed away, winter approached and about to end soon and yet government is way sluggish instead of carrying out the reconstruction and rebuilding as soon as possible. Tens of thousands of people are compelled to face the wrath of winter under thin tents or corrugated metal. And many of them even couldn't approach building on their own because they fear the new structures may not conform the new standards set up by government and could be knocked down. Though the government had convinced people in starting rebuilding after the earthquake rendered millions of people, there is a bleak effort shown by government. Besides, lack of male members in the family is a pressing issue for the families as well nation in the lack of labors for construction. Remittances from their family members working abroad was there to support them financially however, the families left with woman, children and elderly people have to go through lots of difficulties in the absence of young ones in the family.
Winter is quite severe in Nepal along with snow and rains. The families staying in corrugated metal or tents as shelters are suffering from fever, pneumonia, chest infection too. Women are having hard times for themselves as they have to look after the elderly and children who are already vulnerable. Plus, the lacks of fuel has promoted the use of firewood which in turn has severe effect on lungs and eyes. All these have led to chronic illness among women these days in villages as well as cities.
In cities women are having trouble in managing the house with increased price in almost everything. Vegetables, oils, food, and many daily commodities' price have tripled than the normal and woman have challenge accommodating all those in the limited budget. Similarly, in villages women are facing challenges of preserving the stored rice and other commodities from rats. Lacking a proper storage after losing houses is creating problem in rural Nepal as the food they retrieved out of the rubbles are being damaged by cold and also domestic predators.
Conclusively, women already had lots of pressure in consoling the mental trauma that children and elderly members of family are facing after the disaster. In addition, the blockade, labor crunch and winter woes have further worsen the situation for them. While people are facing the worst of everything, government is still busy playing the game of thrones with no sign of relief to its fellow citizens.
Some clicks in and around Nuwakot :)
Some clicks in and around Nuwakot :)
|With my besty :)|
|The ancient Bhairavi temple in ruins after the earthquake|
|People performing shraadha(religious ceremony)at Betrawati river|
|the famous Nuwakot Palace|
|The most adorable ad amazing ladies I came across|