Villagers spend nights in open

Villagers spend nights in open

Villagers spend nights in open

Bhim Kumar, a 60-year- old Gorkha, left Nepal when he was 20 in search of work. He landed up in Manipur and for the last 40 years, he has been here and has become more of a Manipuri.

He works as a chowkidar (gatekeeper) at a private farmland in Premnagar village near the Army Garrison in Leimakhong that marks the end of the Imphal valley and the beginning of the hill ranges of Senapati district.

“Inside the farm there is a small quarter for me. My wife and my two grandchildren were staying with me in that quarter. I have four sons. They are married. They do petty jobs in the Army camp and also work as daily wager in farmland. On Monday at 4:35 am, I was sleeping in the guard room. Suddenly it started shaking. First, I felt that someone was trying to wake me up to open the gate but a loud sound shook me up. I understood it was a massive earthquake. I ran towards my quarter. Amid a thick cover of fog I could see it in rubble,” Bhim Kumar said.

He saw his grandson Sachin, 10, shouting for help. His wife Debo, 50, and granddaughter Barsha, 12, died under the debris. “I have heard many of my relatives have died in the Nepal earthquake. Now it was time for my family. I am totally broken. Apart from the villagers, the government never sent any help. Perhaps because we are a marginalised community in Manipur,” Bhim lamented.

His village, Kanto Premnagar is badly affected. Aroud 15 houses in the village are totally damaged. More than 100 people, mostly from Nepali community, are spending their days in the open air without any government aid.

“This village is very poor. People here are mostly daily wagers. We are hand to mouth. Now from a four-year-old toddler to an 85-years-old lady, all have to sleep in chilling cold nights in the open. The least the government could do was to send tents or tarpaulin sheets,” Manbahadur Thapa, village Development Authority Chairman told Deccan Herald.

The village has no roads, the dilapidated water pipelines have cracked and since January 4, there is no electricity.