Many Dolakha children missing after earthquake

- RAJENDRA MANANDHAR, DOLAKHA
Parents say their children are attending Buddhist monastic schools in India, but they do not know where in India exactly

Jan 27, 2016-Seven children from Lamabagar village of Dolakha have gone missing after the April 25 earthquake.

It has been learnt that these children, ages 6 to 12, were sent to Buddhist monastic schools in India by their parents. None of the children have contacted their families since their departure. 

“We had to lie to police so that my son could leave the village with the Lamas,” said a parent of one of the children. “We are happy because the Lamas had promised to educate my son and send him home after three years.”

The parents do not know where exactly in India their children were attending the monastic schools.

Bhim Maya Tamang, who admitted to sending her son to a Buddhist monastic school in India, said though she did not know about her son’s condition and his whereabouts, she was sure that he was in good hands. “I am sure he is doing well in India. I have sent him in care of a person whom we know very well,” she said.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, many children from Dolakha had left the district without accompanied by their legal guardians. 

Officials at the District Child Welfare Committee said they have recorded several cases of people representing some religious outfits using various enticements to poor parents to take away their children.

According to the committee, 965 kids in the district are at risk after the earthquake. 

Hiranya Bahadur Ghising, a local teacher, said it is hard to keep track of the children who left district after the earthquake, because most of them were sent off at their parents’ consent. 

“Up to 25 children are unaccounted for from a single VDC. The parents were lured by the promise of better education and life,” Ghising said. “The number of children in several schools has gone down after the earthquake.”

Chief District Officer Devendra Lamichhane said they were investigating the case of missing children. 

“We have been working with other concerned authorities to find their whereabouts and to bring them home,” he said.

 

Published: 27-01-2016 09:06

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