Earthquake survivors of Batase in limbo

(Batase), Sindhupalchowk, Feb 2: Ram Bahadur Tamang lives in a temporary shelter made out of zinc sheet with his nine-member family.
The chill in the morning and the evening, the wind and heat during the day has made life difficult for him.
“The zinc roof was supported by Plan International while the land is still unattended and if we still are undermined with the promised assistance from the government we could face severe damage,” claims 48 years old Tamang .
“The crop is not good and we are not sure if the government and NGO will be providing the food relief. We might face mass famine and hunger” Tamang tells the reporter of RSS.
The government provided with Rs 15,000 as first installment for warm clothing and later Rs 10,000. This is all the government has provided to the earthquake survivors like Tamang who are living in temporary shelters. However, the actual amount for rebuilding the house as per the regulation and the promised initial amount of 2 lakhs is still uncertain.
“We are undecided of whether to rebuild on our own or await the regulatory directions,” living with his 9 member family in the temporary shelter, Mr. Pode, another victim complains. He added that owing to lack of identification papers his elder brother and uncle were deprived of the government schemes for the warm clothing’s funds.
The village, Batase – 9 lies below Kalikadanda, 80 km away from Kathmandu. Close by it is the Mahabir village.
It snows on the upper part of the village. The April 25 Gorkha earthquake destroyed some 285 houses killing 11 people and injuring six people here. A total of 9000 lives were lost throughout the country and nearly 23000 were injured while about 8 lakhs houses were partially or completely damaged. Affecting 450 cultural and heritage sites, the total cost of the damage is estimated to be 700 billion rupees.
Sukhawati Foundation, in coordination with The Beautiful Store Foundation South Korea, distributed 258 blankets in the village under its warm love campaign.
The vice president Mr. Chijman Gurung, Treasurer Kamala Gurung and members Laxmi Devi Gurung and Kalpana Gurung were seen distributing the blankets to the victims in the village.
“Sharing love; sharing happiness” being the motto of the foundation that was formed nearly a year ago, it has been active throughout the relief programme after the earthquake, distributing the relief goods, including 6500 blankets to the displaced victims living in the zinc roof shelter in Dolakha, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot districts.
According to vice president of the foundation, Mr Gurung, the foundation has a target of distributing 8864 blankets in total.
“The village is all roofed with zinc sheets and in the cold when you receive these warm blankets it definitely helps a bit,” says a father of two Mr. Mangal Bahadur Tamang.
Predominantly settled by the Tamang people, majority of the people there grow wheat, barley, maize, potato and rice.
The foundation had, immediately after the earthquake, built 13 plastic houses as temporary shelter for the marginalized families with the funds supported from Sarala Nepali, a Nepalese living in the UK, member Kesh Kumari Rana told RSS.
The Sukhawati Foundation distributes low-cost, reusable clothing and goods to the marginalized and low income families. Until date the foundation has distributed nearly 500 kilogrammes of clothing after sorting and proper washing.
The foundation wants to bring in the concept of social enterprise in the future with such programmes, chief secretary Mr Rajendra Bahadur Lama shared.