Chaudhary Foundation Newsletter

Newsletter Vol 01 No. 02
November 2016 - April 2017

BASERI VILLAGE:
FAR AWAY VILLAGE FROM KATHMANDU

Lekmaya Dhakal, 58, is a single woman resident of Baseri VDC 6 in Dhading district, is one of the beneficiaries of "CG Ashraya" home constructed by Chaudhary Foundation after the devastating earthquake of 2015. Baseri is some 60 kms away from Dhadingbesi, the headquarter of Dhading district. It is beautifully located in the northwest part of Dhading bordering with villages of Gorkha. It almost takes about tedious four hours of off road drive to reach here. In some areas, a vehicle has to cross rivers driving through huge rocks on the driveway in the river. One cannot imagine how the road transportation be like on this roadways during monsoon time. A vehicle has to drive through a feet deep dust throughout the road to Baseri except in some wet areas in drier season. Although, Baseri is directly connected by road transportation to the capital of the country and the district headquarters, there are an adequate problems and difficulties persist in livelihood of poor villagers. Among many of those problems, Chaudhary Foundation has helped Baseri community by providing 266 CG Ashraya homes. And it has also helped the school community of Shree Mahalaxmi Higher Secondary School by providing drinking water pipeline from the source benefitting the entire school and 40 more households around school community.

Lekmaya lost her husband some 10 years ago. We found his picture hanging in the CG Ashraya home where he was wearing a proper tie and shirt and Lekmaya wearing a beautiful sari with her jubilant smile. Lekmaya also has two sons but both of them are abroad in Malaysia for work. Support sent by her two boys are able to keep this old mother hopeful and alive. The harsh reality of this village is also that most of youth have abandoned the village. Most of them are abroad or either in Kathmandu valley for education or employment. Along a drive to Baseri,an acres and acres of barren land without any sorts of farming is a result of existing immigration of youth out of this country. During an interaction, it was found out that if husbands are outside of country or in Kathmandu then their wives and children are also not living in the village. They have also left a town in search of good education and easy life in the nearby cities.

It is really painful to see those barren lands and an old people in the village and both of them look feeble and not happy. There are single mother like Lekmaya in the village who are living their life with belief that one day their life would be prosperous with all basic facilities require for common public to make their life easy and simple.

When the earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, Baseri lost most of its houses. The village is not far from the epicenter Barpak in Gorkha . Therefore, it seems like it was in the similar fault line that hit the epicenter to have greater and bigger damage to many houses. Additionally, it does not produce a good feeling to see around the glittering CGI sheets houses all over hills instead of traditional red mud thatched roof houses in most of these villages in rural Nepal. Sometimes it feels like the earthquake has not just eroded the physical infrastructure but it has also eroded the traditional and cultural values of our villages. It seems very important to bring back some of our oriental culture in newer reconstruction and rebuilding program.

During the monitoring visits of CG Ashraya houses in Baseri we found out that people have taken a great ownership of these homes. Houses were absolutely clean with bedrooms, kitchen and even a storage room for storage of their grains such as maize, wheat and rice. Ambir Dhakal, 35 said that “I have an exam coming and I am preparing for it.

CG Ashraya home is my kitchen, my bedroom and my study room. Yes this homes are a transitional houses but I really would like to take care of these house, maintain it and let it live longer. The foundation of this house is strong and I would prefer to start a permanent housing on this one to minimize the cost and also not to worry about new land for permanent houses. I think Chaudhary Foundation has done what they were supposed to do during an emergency time, Government is coming up with the idea of helping us by providing cash to rebuild house. Now it is our turn to rethink and spend that money wisely in rebuilding a new home in cost effective way.

Lekmaya also shared with us that she would be fine in CG Ashraya homes for another 2 years but she has to do minor maintenance every three months. Like she has to paint with red mud to cover all bamboos and she has to paint her doors and windows to keep it safe from wind and water. She told us that she is not going to hurry to construct permanent house until her sons comes back from abroad and help her in building a new home. The monitoring team also observed the water source up in the mountain where Chaudhary Foundation helped this community by providing PVC pipe for supply of drinking water system. Around 35 men and women but mostly older people welcomed the team of CF along with few members from Social Welfare Council who visited Baseri to evaluate the social responsibility of Chaudhary Foundation. “We never thought that any organization would come and provide us shelter this far away in the middle of nowhere. We thank you Chaudhary Foundation team who did a proper assessment to provide us with shelters. May the service of Chaudhary Foundation flourish and help many needy and vulnerable community like ours. May God bless Chaudhary Foundation” whispers Lekmaya and offers us flower wishing us good luck on our way back to Kathmandu.

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