Lockdown Impact

Ignoring coronavirus, people are braving long journey back home

Published On: April 24, 2020 06:45 PM NPT By: Arjun Oli

KOHALPUR, April 24: Janakala Malla of Gamgadhi-1, Mugu had come to Nepalgunj for treatment a month ago. Then the government announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of novel coronavirus in the country. Consequently, she was forced to spend a month without treatment.

“After suffering from body aches, I came here. However, lockdown affected my plans,” she said, adding that she stayed with her relative during this period. “But I should go home now.” She said she would be safe at home back in the village.

“I’m rather worried about making my way home.” She complained that the government was unable to address the concerns of people like her.

Pujadevi, another woman from Mugu, is also thinking of returning home after being stranded for more than a month in Kohalpur in course of treatment. She was discharged from the Nepalgunj Medical College, Kohalpur before lockdown was enforced. However, I couldn't go back on time. 

 She spent the whole Thursday at Mugu at Kohalpur, Chauraha looking for a vehicle back to Mugu, but all in vain. “It has been hard to stay with relatives more than other days,” she added.

A large number of people braving long journey homes on foot were seen at Chauraha of Kohalpur. People who are away from home for employment, studies and treatment have been stranded, following the lockdown order. The scene of elderly, sick and children along the highways is heart-wrenching.

Free meal to travelers

Kohalpur locals have been providing free meals to stranded people since April 16. “After Kohalpur Municipality failed to act, we are voluntarily feeding the stranded people,” said businessman Laxman Raj Poudel. In the early days, they offered only beaten rice and puffed rice. “When most of the travelers wished to have meals, we started offering cooked meals,” Poudel added. 

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