On 2nd June, our team went to Ward No. 2, Lubhu VDC, Lalitpur to distribute relief to 73 Dalit families in two settlements – Gairi (aka Sarki Gaun) and Dhungen (aka Damai Gaun). We had received information that these villages, despite their proximity to Kathmandu, had been left out of relief distribution mainly because they are inhabited by marginalized Dalits who have very limited access to information and resource channels. People from Damai Gaun said there had been a dispute earlier when the high-caste people of the next village (Ghimire Gaun) tried to take all the relief materials that had come into their area. In the end Dalit families received three sacks of rice, which they shared among themselves. Meanwhile, locals in Sarki Gaun said they had so far received 15 kg of rice per household.
There are 49 families in Damai Gaun and 24 families in Sarki Gaun. All the houses in these two villages have been completely destroyed by the quake or become uninhabitable. People are living under tarpaulins and worried about the approaching monsoon. Most of the people in these villages are subsistence farmers who struggle to make ends meet. People in Sarki Gaun also work as cobblers on the side, leatherwork being the traditional occupation of the Sarki.
Based on the needs assessment carried out by our local contact Ramesh Magranti, our team provided each household a packet of spices, a packet of oil, a packet of salt, bathing & detergent soaps, and toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes. We also delivered supplies provided by Nari Shakti, a women’s savings & credit cooperative in Lalitpur; these included tea, sugar, biscuits and beaten rice, as well as packaged pulao sent by a group of students in Pune, India. Each family also received a set of used clothes donated by some of our friends. The clothes were washed, ironed and meticulously sorted, and distributed only after ensuring that the locals needed and wanted them.
In addition, our team provided a bag of supplies (baby clothes, biscuits, milk, ghee, malted drink powder) and cash gifts to two new mothers through Nehi Fund. The first mother was Rita Purkuti, 25, who gave birth to her second daughter about two weeks ago. Both mother and child are living inside a makeshift tarpaulin shelter. Her child is suffering from yellow fever and she seemed very worried. Her husband works for wages at a small furniture shop. We gave her a bag of new mother supplies and a cash gift of NPR 2000 for her child’s treatment, which she appreciated a lot.
The second mother was Tulasha Damai. She gave birth to her fourth child soon after the earthquake. Tulasha’s health is improving but her baby is suffering from pneumonia. Her husband is a roadside tailor. The family has no other source of income. She was very happy to receive a bag of new mother supplies and a cash gift of NPR 2000 for her child’s treatment through Nehi Fund.
|Nehi Fund Expenditure (Cash gifts & supplies)||8604.00|
|TOTAL IN USD||1||100.00||560.04|
Although earlier we had been told there were 75 households in the selected villages, it turned out there were only 73. Two packages of supplies that were left over will be given to other quake-affected families on our next relief trip.