Kin hoping against hope

Kin hoping against hope

Aug 30, 2014-

As the rest of the world is busy marking the ‘32nd International Day of the Disappeared’, Ganga Maya Rimal is getting her hands dirty in the farm. The only individual she could call her own, her son Krishna Prasad, has been missing since 2004.

Living in a small space provided by generous Baburam and Krishnamaya Shrestha at their house in Charikot for the past 34 years, the tale of Rimal is heartrending. Deprived of the state facility for the kin of the disappeared owing to the lack of connection to the concerned authority to recommend her, Rimal has been making ends meet by working odd jobs.

While 10 families were invited to an event organised to mark the 32nd International Day of the Disappeared, Rimal did not get an invitation. “We did not invite her as there is no mention of Krishna Bahadur on the list of the disappeared,” said Tika Narayan Pradhan,  secretary at the district chapter of the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS). But rights activist Shrijana Karki alleged that Rimal was a victim to injustice by the state as they had already included Krishna Bahadur’s name on the list of the disappeared sent through the local peace committee.

Apparently, Rimal had been impregnated after being victim to sexual exploitation. She had endured much severed hardship during her prime compared to what she does now, Rimal recalls. Rejected by her parents, she claims she was wrongfully accused of arson. As there was no one to foot Rs 2,200 to bail out, Rimal was imprisoned in 1975. While serving her time in jail, she gave birth to Krishna Bahadur at the age of 25 while serving time. Rimal was set free in 1981.

As Baburam was a staff at the Land Survey Office (LRO), Krishna Bahadur honed his skills as a ‘Lekhandas’ (scribe) there. He went on to take care of her mother. But when he was denied a citizenship certificate in the absence of the father, a deeply hurt Krishna Bahadur had ventured out looking for his father when he went missing. Rimal, who herself was denied a citizenship for years, blames the government was equally responsible for his disappearance. “Had it not been for that provision, I would not have lost my son,” Rimal says.

An illiterate and social outcast, Rimal neither reported her rape nor the disappearance of her son, which she now regrets. According to Rimal, she used to go and look for her son whenever she heard about a body being found in various places. But as she has not found the body, the mother is still pinning hopes her son might return someday. Krishna Bahadur has not been added on to the NRCS’ disappeared list.

Ram Krishna Shrestha, another kin of the disappeared, made it to the event venue with a hope of getting reunited with his father Hasta Bir who has been missing since 2005. Hasta Bahadur, who had left for Melamchi to work on the road construction project as a labour, never made it to the site. The only consolation for Ram Krishna, unlike Rimal, is that his family received Rs 200,000 from the state.

Published: 31-08-2014 09:21

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