August 20, 2017 07:33 AM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
BANKE, August 20: While all his neighbors have begun repairing and rebuilding their houses in the wake of the flood havoc, Kamilal Tharu is still unable to muster the fortitude to step back into his devastated home.
The recent flood.has left Kamilal and his wife Phul Kumari numb with sorrow. They lost three children in the disaster which has also. left them homeless.
Since the last few days Phul Kumari, who is 32, has been living with relatives while her 36-year-old husband keeps loitering around the ruins of their home.
“Though all my relatives have started taking out the things buried in the debris of their homes, I can’t even get myself to set foot into what’s left of my house, “ he said. Every time he visits the site it becomes hard for him to control his tears.
As recently as late June, the couple lost their 13-month-old daughter to illness. They were still mourning that unbearable loss when the flood disaster struck. The massive flood submerged their house killing their three other children Anju, Sarita, and Sushmita.
Kamilal had gone to Pokhara at the time to work as a laborer.
He was informed about the flooding in his village at around 4 pm that Friday. “I got a phone call from one of my friends who told me about the death of my children and the whole mishap,” said Kamilal, adding, “It felt like I had fallen from the sky.” When he reached back home, everything was in ruin. His wife had already been taken to her relatives while the bodies of his daughters had been buried. He could not even see his daughters for one last time.
It had been absolutely daunting for Phulkumari to safeguard her children in the absence of her husband. She kept yelling for help but no one responded.
Kamilal does not know how his life will return to normal and how he will rebuild his house. All he has left by way of assets are two kattha of land. They won’t even be able to manage two meals a day if they don’t find work quick.
Meanwhile, the government provided Kamilal Rs.600,000 as monetary relief. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba handed over the cheque to him a few days ago. “A life is worth more than any amount of money, so it will be better if the government manages a safe shelter for the victims rather than providing relief every year,” Kamilal stressed.