Debts overshadow wedding plans in storm’s wake

Published On: April 5, 2019 07:38 AM NPT By: Madan Thakur

BALIRAMPUR (Bara), April 5: Bir Bahadur Sah of Balirampur, Bara had big plans for marrying off his 20-year-old daughter Sima Kumari. 

The engagement with Anil Sah, a local from Chhapkaiya, Birgunj had just concluded. Both families were eyeing a wedding date in mid-April. 

Bir Bahadur had taken a Rs 200,000 loan from a local cooperative to arrange for his daughter’ jewelry. The family had also taken loans elsewhere to make sure it was a good wedding. 

But Sunday’s big storm that left 28 people dead and many houses in ruin also left the Sah family’s wedding plans in disarray. The jewelry and the cash meant to pay for wedding expenses were all buried under the storm debris. The whole family is now frantically combing the debris in a futile search for the lost items. “I’ve been searching for the missing gold and cash for the last four days,” Bir Bahadur lamented. “I have not found anything.” 

The family is now spending nights under the open sky as they have not received any relief other than a piece of tarpaulin. Still clinging to his hopes, Bir Bahadur said, “Those items are surely somewhere around here.” 

After learning about the storm damage, members of the groom’s family came to meet Bhim Bahadur. They made it clear to him that they were not changing the wedding plans. This has put the bride’s family under further pressure.

Bhim Bahadur now has no choice but to go back to the money lenders. 
Many in the storm-hit villages of Bara have lost homes and shelter. Bhim Bahadur has lost more. 

Road obstruction continues 

The rural road in Bara blocked by the storm has not yet reopened. Delay in reopening the Balirampur-Chhotaki-Fulbariya road is impacting the locals. The authorities have not been able to clear uprooted trees and the debris of collapsed houses and other infrastructure.

“As the road has not opened relief is not coming in,” said Ram Chandra Sah adding. “We have not received anything except some pieces of tarpaulin.”

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