Helambu folk gear up to build ‘model houses’

- RISHI RAM PAUDEL, SINDHUPALCHOK

May 29, 2015-

After the devastating earthquake on April 25, locals of Sermathang area in Helambu region are planning to construct ‘model houses’ in the areas nearby popular trekking route in the district.

An 83-year-old Sonam Lama said all villagers should collaborate to rebuild the village.

“We are again ready to welcome tourists,” said Sonam. In the meantime, local Tashi Lama is drafting a plan to rebuild the demolished infrastructures in the village. Tashi has taken the responsibility of rebuilding the village in an artistic way.

“We are initiating a campaign to rebuild houses and monasteries,” said Tashi, adding that they will try to preserve their culture and tradition during the reconstruction process.

Locals of Sermathang are rebuilding their village all over again after the devastating earthquake, and taking this as an opportunity to bring about changes in the village for the better. They are aware about preserving their cultural heritage as they have also formed District Reconstruction Committee (DRC) for attracting tourist in Helambu.

“From now on, no one can construct their house as they like,” said Tashi, adding that all the 96 households will be constructed following the same structure and model.

Similarly, locals have formed a 13-member committee in coordination of local Rinjen Lama to reconstruct Sermathang trekking route. Phurba Dorje, another local, has taken the responsibility of preserving the art and culture unique to the village. He is also engaged in preserving wooden art and crafts.

“We have to preserve the historic art and culture of Helambu for tourists who will soon be visiting the place,” said Dorje.

Locals of Sermathang who are living in USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Kathmandu have also sent Rs 5 million to help the initiative taken for rebuilding the entire village devastated by the quake and help in constructing private houses  for those who have been rendered homeless. The locals have also made a provision according to which villagers currently working in Israel have to donate US$ 300 and those living in USA have to donate $500.

Meanwhile, the DRC is planning to form a separate department to collect funds from villagers living abroad. They have planned to mobilise part of the funds received from the government as well as money collected locally and abroad in preserving local art and culture.

“We have planned to collect around Rs 10 million that will be used in building public places,” said Tashi.

Sermathang of Kiyul, Tarkeghyang of Helambu and Melamchighyang are the main tourist attractions of the district. The locals call these areas ‘Hyolmo’.

Published: 30-05-2015 07:27

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