A dream of Bhakta Bahadur Praja to live in a permanent home is now turning to reality with Hamro Ghar; Leave No One Behind
Er. Asmita Sharma
Dumkim-2, Ickhayakamana is located just 15km away from Mawakhola, a local market in Phithivi Highway at the border of Chitwan and Dhading district. However, this village have its own tale of people, lives, misery and remoteness. Chepangs, a highly marginalized and indigenous ethnic preside in this settlement. Characteristically, Chepangs tend to live in steep slopes and terrains of high hills and river valleys, maintaining distance from other ethnics and community. This community is economically vulnerable, does not possess lands of their own and resides in a very primitive shades. Historically, the collection of wild yams and tubes, bats and wild birds, and hunting supplements their food and nutrition. Chepangs are often characterized as the poorest group of Nepal’s poor economy. They are egalitarian, illiterate, and are more prone to child marriage and teenage pregnancies
Earthquake on April 2015 hit this Chepang community to more crisis and vulnerability. Homes were shattered, livestock died, and subsequent rain destroyed stock food grains. Bhakta Bahadur Praja, a representative storyline of many such Chepangs, had all his hopes and dreams shattered with his sole house turned to dust and debris. His food stock was destroyed, had no place to shelter and no one to hold his hands.
He even came to know about relief packages by government, and other organizations but only managed to receive tent and bucket. His own brother grasped his subsidiary amount of Rs 10,000 provided by government for winterization kits. Despite of these, he defied all the odds, built a temporary shed barred by wood and lived for 12 dreadful months.
Almost after a year, he was enlisted as NRA beneficiaries to receive government housing grant and received first tranche of 50,000 to initiate construction of home. He built a simple shed with mud mortar and stones on his own from the first government grant tranche. He did not receive any technical support during construction, neither seek for it. He was ignorant to the government provision of earthquake resilient construction. Subsequently, his house was declared non-compliant by government engineer and proved to be ineligible to receive remaining tranche.
Now, he is a NRA listed most vulnerable person, entitled to receive more incentive and support from government and reconstruction actors for shelter reconstruction. Hamro Ghar Project, an initiative by DFID, and implemented by PIN, SWN, Phase Nepal and Build Change will help him to build two-room stone mud masonry earthquake resilient house. The labour will be provided by his community and trainees on OJT under the guidance of two masons. The project will also help him to receive government grants and purchase the material required to complete the construction.
A dream of Bhakta Bahadur to live in a permanent home is now turning to reality with Hamro Ghar; Leave No One Behind.
This is a story of many Bhakta Bahadur, underprivileged and poor who immediately built a temporary shed to cover their heads after earthquake; now, victims of complex and irresponsive provision of government housing reconstruction grant.