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Updates from Lakuri Bhanjyang – Lalitpur

Brabim Kumar
Written by Brabim Kumar

Written by Sabin Ninglekhu

 

About two months ago, Lakuri Bhanjyang, over 15 kilometers off of Ring Road, went from being a VDC to a part of the newly formed Mahalaxmi Municipality, which brings under it’s administrative boundary, Lubhu, Lamatar and adjoining VDCs. However, ‘urban amenities’ that one would associate with a municipality continues to evade Lakuri Bhanjyang – a reality that was made more stark to us upon our visit on the 31st of May, Sunday. The place feels remote also because of the winding, uneven, and dusty ‘kacchi’ road that begins few kilometers away from the Ring Road. Of over 333 households, majority remain either completely, or partially, destroyed – a distinction that is questionable at times because many considered ‘partially destroyed’ are no longer habitable, rendering the destruction complete. Few have started rebuilding temporary structures out of materials salvageable from the ruins. Some sleep under make-shift structures made out of tarps that was received few days after the first big earthquake. There is an elderly 80 year old man, Bir Bahadur Tamang, who continues to live in a ‘tunnel’ after digging a hole in the mud because no relief materials have arrived to date for him. On the brighter side, the restaurants in the main chowk are open and seem to keep busy – indicating that the locals are gradually reclaiming some semblance of local social and economic life of the village. There is a temporary learning centre built on an open space, few minutes walk from the now-damanged Shri Basuki Secondary School, where children have begun to assemble in neatly stitched uniforms. The first day at Lakuri Bhanjyang, we scoped around the public school building that is no longer habitable. After, we sat down with Rajan Ji, the head master of the school, and Bijaya bhai, who takes up several roles in the village: he has been a local social worker/community mobilizer for over ten years now; he is a member of the school’s management committee; he is also a member of the ward’s citizens’ group, or Nagarik Manch, – a loosely assembled group that currently functions as a ward-level government representative in the absence of locally elected ward committee. The following day, our team of engineers, led by the Dipesh, an AYON volunteer, and an active member of Nepal Engineers’ Association, visited Lakuri Bhanjyang to do a recce of the village as a way to document damage and map out a plan. The team walked around the village the morning led by the amazing Bijay bhai along with Santa Man, Bijay’s friend. In the afternoon, we had a thorough meeting again with Rajan Ji, Bijay bhai, and other members of the school and the community to chart out a plan. Our team are currently preparing a work plan to build temporary shelters for the families in Lakuri Bhanjyang, just in time before monsoon befalls. It’s possible. We will begin with building a shelter for Bir Bahadur dai. (Read more)

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Brabim Kumar

Brabim Kumar