By Umesh Pokharel
Radhika BK, 57, a single woman in Suri village development committee (VDC) in Dolakha district, had almost given up her hope to begin a normal life, following the April 2015 Nepal earthquake. Not only her house was collapsed, the falling wall killed her all cattle.
BK was alone in her house in Suri when the earthquake struck. She lived under tarpaulins for more than two months since the earthquake. Later on she constructed a temporary shelter with support from The Luther World Federation (LWF) Nepal and its partner Human Rights Awareness and Development Centre (HURADEC). Her children were in Kathmandu and used to visit her occasionally.
“When my children invited me to go to Kathmandu, I was in a dilemma,” she recalled a time one and half years ago. However, her intent to stay in her ancestral land outweighed her children’s wish. She decided to rebuild her house and spend her life where her forefathers lived for centuries.
Support from the Government of Nepal along with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), LWF Nepal, Dalit NGO network and their representative organization Dalit Welfare Association (DWA) have been a help to make her dream come true.
Following the earthquake, LWF Nepal with support from ACT Alliance provided her emergency shelter kit along with livelihood support package while during the recovery phase, LWF Nepal and Dalit NGO network and their representative organization DWA with support from ELCA provided them top-up shelter grant.
“With support such as tarpaulin sheets, nails and other shelter kits, I constructed a temporary shelter nearby my previous house,” she walked down the memory lane. “Later on, the top-up grant support of Rs 75,000 helped me to start reconstructing permanent shelter,” BK says.
Against such background, the Government of Nepal (GoN) announced the support of Rs 300,000 as a shelter support grant to the earthquake-affected households, the ELCA, LWF Nepal and DWA came up with the additional shelter support grant of NRs 75,000 each household. “The additional support was to fulfill the unmet fund requirement for the reconstruction, constructing a toilet and installing solar panel,” Dr Prabin Manandhar, Country Director of LWF Nepal says.
At present, Radhika has completed the construction of her house. With the construction of permanent shelter, her dream to live in her ancestral land has been fulfilled. Radhika plans to keep some goats, begin farm as usual and live peacefully in her village. “My house in my village means a lot for me, it is a symbol of dignity and happiness,” she says.