Print Edition - 2018-01-08 | News
Chepang village reeling under food shortage
-, MALEKHU (DHADING)
People surviving on a diet of stinging nettle, wild roots and tubers
Jan 8, 2018-The impoverished Chepang community of Brushabang Village in Benighat Rorang Rural Municipality in Dhading is reeling under an acute shortage of food, forcing people to survive on a diet of stinging nettle, wild roots and tubers.
Sukrimaya Chepang, 22, who is a mother of three and expecting a fourth baby, said she has to forage for roots and tubers almost daily or her entire family will have nothing to eat.“There is not a single grain of food in the entire village. We would die if there were no stinging nettles, roots and tubers available,”she said.
Like Sukrimaya two other women in the village are also pregnant, and they too are deprived of nutritious diet and rest.
Brushabang is located on a hilltop on the Mahabharat range that borders Dhading and Chitwan districts. Basic facilities like drinking water, electricity and health centres are not available in the village.
According to 78-year-old Tek Bahadur Chepang, the village people have been surviving on wild roots and tubers whenever there is a shortage of food grains.
“It is difficult to grow your own food here because of water shortage. We have to walk two hours just to fetch drinking water,” he said.
A government team, including District Coordination Committee Coordinator Jagannath Nepal, Chief District Officer Shyam Bhandari and Deputy Superintendent of Police Ram Bahadur KC recently visited the remote village to take stock of the situation.
The team was shocked by the condition the villagers were living.
The Chepang Development Programme, which was launched 38 years ago to improve the living standard of the impoverished community, has had no impact whatsoever in Brushabang, the team concluded.
“We saw no improvement in the living standard of the Chepang families living in Brushabang despite several programmes launched by various government and non-government organisations to uplift the Chepang community,” said Nepal.
The people of Brushabang had requested the government team to relocate them to a location where they need not have starve or walk for hours for drinking water.
Published: 08-01-2018 07:42