RATION DISTRIBUTION:
DAILY WAGE WORKERS, KATHMANDU
with HDRVG

The Corona pandemic forced even the capital to completely shut down. With a population of more than 1.5 million people, there are a lot of people in Kathmandu who survive on a day to day wage provision and don’t have means to survive if they were to be cut off of their wages even for a single day. And it was not surprising when Kathmandu saw its first known starvation death shortly after two months of nationwide lockdown: Surya Bahadur Tamang, who had spent several decades hauling junks in Kathmandu, was found dead on the sidewalks of Kirtipur. He did not make enough money to rent a room for himself, so he slept on the streets.

 

On Saturday, May 23, two months after the lockdown started and all work shut down, he was found dead, still clutching the woven jute strap he used to carry loads on his back. The locals said he had no family. He had been eating free food offered by local organizations. Yet that wasn’t enough to ward off starvation.[1](2020, May 31, The Annapurna Express) Due to the lack of incentives from the government and lack of jobs, a lot of people dependent on daily wages were forced to leave Kathmandu, but due to the lockdown, they could not even do that. A lot of cases were recorded where people made the journey of thousands of kilometers on foot just to get to their village.

 

[1] (2020, May 31). Famine or feast in Nepal?. Retrieved August 1, 2020, from https://theannapurnaexpress.com/news/famine-or-feast-in-nepal-2533

With the purpose of helping the helpless in the capital, Metal for Nepal partnered up with Himalayan Disaster Relief Volunteer Group, also known as the Yellow House Volunteer Group, which is a volunteer group formed by young social workers who are willing to help people in distress during disasters and uncertainties.

Through the help of Yellow House, we were able to recognize the people in need in Kathmandu Valley and were able to help more than 150 families, totaling up to more than 750 individuals. Our help included a care package that consisted of:

  1. 10kg of Rice

  2. 3kg of lentils

  3. 1kg of Sugar,

  4. 200g tea leaves

  5. 0.5ltr of oil

  6. 1kg of salt

  7. 1 unit soap

  8. 14kg of fresh vegetables

  9. 1 unit of Piyush

  10. 2 unit of  sanitary pads

  11. 5 units of Masks.

The packages were distributed to people living in different parts of the capital.

  1. 34 families from Thali,

  2. 38 families from Boudha,

  3. 57 families from Lagankhel that included the family of Female Safa Tempo drivers

  4. 52 families from Sinamangal.

As Mother Teresa famously said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”, we find ourselves extremely fortunate that we could help so many people in distress in the capital. Although, there is a long way to go for the overall recovery from the pandemic, the small help we could provide surely brought a glimmer of hope in those who are affected. And we also sincerely appreciate the time and effort put in by Himalayan Disaster Relief Volunteer Group, for the proper functioning of this project.

- Aayush Subedi for Metal for Nepal, 8/1/2020

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© 2020 Metal for Nepal Association, Switzerland