Bhaktapur quake victims indifferent to upcoming polls


BHAKTAPUR – The May 14 election fever has gripped the nation with the polls on the horizon. Election campaigns are in full swing at every nook and cranny of the country while engagement of people in chitchats has become a day to day phenomenon.

However, the wave of elections has not reached the settlements of the victims of the earthquake of April 25, 2015, at various places in Bhaktapur including Dekocha, Byasi, Na:Pukha, Sallaghari, and Chyamahasingh.

Forget their proper rehabilitation, no single leader or cadre of any political party running for the polls has reached out to them even during the time of elections when our political leaders are accused of increasing their visit to people only for a vote.

For citizens, elections are often taken as an opportunity to apprise political party leaders of their grievances. So there is no exception for the quake victims in the area, who are long waiting for their proper rehabilitation.

Jaya Krishna Kumpakha, a quake victim, is living in a makeshift hut in a settlement at Dekocha in Bhaktapur Municipality. “My pathetic condition is the same ever since the quake. None has reached out to us to inquire about our problems even during this election time,” he said.

The sorry condition of Kumpakha is shared by other 16 families from the settlement. Although a total of 50 families used to live in the settlement, some of them moved elsewhere by building new houses on their own or some returned to stay in their damaged houses, reducing the settlement size to 16 families.

“Manabiya Astha Nepal has managed food, accommodation and drinking water for us. We will vote for those recommended by the Manabiya Astha,” said Kumpakha.

Another quake victim Astha Bahadur Manandhar, who is living with a disability, also echoed Kumpakha’s grievances. He is constantly worried about how to support his family, two of his children are differently abled as he the sole breadwinner in the family cannot work properly. He does not have money to purchase even medicines for himself as prescribed by a doctor. “We will vote for those who will look after us and our children,” said the Manandhar couple.