National

Food crisis grips Chepang villages

- BIMAL KHATIWADA, CHITWAN

Oct 11, 2015-

People in Chepang settlements in the district are facing an acute shortage of foodstuffs.

Belimaya Chepang of Sapreni in Kaule-1 said she has been searching for edible wild fruits and roots in jungle to feed her family for the past one month. She said though wants to buy some rice but could not afford it.

She became the sole breadwinner for her seven-member family after the death of her husband. She said she also sold some wooden appliances, locally called theki, at Tadi bazaar to make some money in order to buy rice and clothes for her children for the upcoming festivals.

Like Belimaya, Kubaram Chepang is also facing a similar problem. He said he too wanted to earn some money selling thekis. “My kids will be saddened if I go home without rice,” he said, adding that his family is also dependent on wild fruits due to an acute shortage of rice since August.

Likewise, Dhana Bahadur Chepang of Gandung in Siddhi-4 said he returned home exchanging 11 bamboo baskets, a home appliance, with some rice in local bazaar.

As the festival season is days away, Chepang people are seen in bazaar areas these days trying to manage some rice for their families. Social activist KP Kiran Sharma said Chepangs compulsorily eat rice during Dashain but they are unlikely to afford it this year.

Meanwhile, people in remote villages in Dolpa are also facing a similar shortage of foodstuffs. As Nepal Food Corporation distributed rice in district headquarters only, people of remote villages have been reeling under an acute shortage of foodstuff. Nandaram Sarki of Sarmi-4 said the NFC did not distribute rice from its village depots. “There cannot be celebrations in Dashain without rice,” he said, adding that villagers have been unhappy due to the discriminatory behaviour of the NFC.

Dolpa NFC chief Hari Prasad Joshi, however, said they could not distribute rice from village depots due to limited stock and problems in transportation.

Published: 11-10-2015 08:33

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