Woodfires the only way for the poor to stave off cold
December 30, 2017 03:32 AM NPT
By: Madan Thakur
RAUTAHAT, Dec 29: The dipping temperature resulting in chilling cold has adversely affected normal life across the country. But it's the people from the marginalized communities who have been hit hard by the freezing temperature at the moment.
As a dense cloud of fog has started hovering in the sky, blocking the sunlight, bonfires have been a major support for the people here. Especially the children and elderly citizens have been caught in the grip of cold. In order to escape the frost, they have been found basking around bonfire in the mornings and evenings. For the poor, destitute and underprivileged, hay and straw have been the most reliable source of heat.
Since the arrival of winter, people of the Dalit community have been wondering whether they will survive this winter. As of now, they are surviving on the warmth of fire but they worry how long they will sustain their lives due to the lack of warm clothes and proper shelter. Umesh Ram of Garuda Municipality-4 informed that the roads, streets and markets are empty before evening due to cold. These days, the locals don't wait for the sunset to wrap up their works. They don't even dare to come out of their homes in the mornings as well.
Children of these communities are found collecting hay, straws, fodders and dry leaves of plants in the day time so that they can keep themselves warm at night by lighting fire. Manoj Kumar Chaudhary, another local of Garuda informed that some families have been obliged to light fire by using the timber stored for future.
Locals get to feel the warmth of the sun for few hours during day time but they often spend their nights shivering. It has been equally hard for them to go to their workplaces. According to some locals, a lot of lives will be saved if the government provides timber to the underprivileged people. Locals have been urging the intellectuals of their locality to make some efforts to protect them from dying of cold.