National

NGO operators held on irregularities charge

- LAL PRASAD SHARMA, POKHARA

Jul 1, 2015-

The local administration has arrested two NGO operators for allegedly committing irregularities in arranging shelters for the earthquake victims in Pokhara.

Police have detained the Chairman of Aasha Foundation Diwakar Subedi and Executive Director Hari Lamsal on the charge of illegally relocating 15 earthquake-hit families from their village in Ree-5 in Dhading to Pokhara on Monday.

Chief District Officer (CDO) Krishna Bahadur Raut said the two persons were detained to investigate against the alleged illegal activities they committed.

They have also been accused of collecting relief materials “without taking proper care”, he said.

The owner has kept 71 people in temporary shelters at Sarangkot in Pokhara-26, police said. Police detained the two individuals after the Kaski Child Welfare Committee inspected the shelters and found them in dire condition.

The committee has requested the CDO to “punish” the two NGO operators.

Likewise, the member of committee, Shiva Sharma Chapagain, said Aasha Foundation had kept the children without consulting the local bodies.

“The activities of the two NGO operators seem suspicious as they have illegally taken the victims to Pokhara rather than helping them in the quake-affected areas itself,” he said.

Out of the 71 quake-victims illegally relocated, 17 are children under the age of 16. The committee even claimed that the children have higher chances of being at risk of facing exploitation and abuse.

However, the foundation claimed they have ferried the quake-victims according to the letter provided by the local VDC Secretary.

Meanwhile, Chupi Lama Tamang, a quake-victim from Ree VDC, said they have agreed to stay six months at a children’s home as the settlements in Ree are prone to landslides. “We came here just to be safe,” he said.

Similarly, another member of the committee, Rabiraj Basaula, said that as the government has mobilised security personnel to curb human trafficking, the foundation has made a great mistake by relocating whole families to another place. “The foundation has played with the emotions of quake victims,” he said.

Furthermore, the foundation has purchased some galvanized zinc sheets worth Rs 60,0000 saying that they are meant for distribution among quake victims.

“Stored food stuffs are also not being distributed to quake victims. Instead of distributing them, they have been distributing the collected relief materials in other places ,” Chapagain said, adding that they have collected huge amount in the name of quake-victims, but they have not kept their activities and dealings transparent.

Published: 01-07-2015 08:32

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