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Relief Material Distribution

Issue May 2015


The overwhelming emotional government could not oversee the ‘search and rescue’ of the people buried in the masses of debris left by the disastrous quakes. The catastrophic events had left the government in the complete impotent to do anything immediately. So many helicopters, and airplanes with the teams and relief materials flew into Nepal after the devastating quakes on April 25, 2015 that the Kathmandu international airport could not cope with the air traffic; soon the airport had no space to park those helicopters. Apparently, Chinese helicopters with relief materials had to fly back. British helicopters with the relief materials stood by in Chandigarh, India awaiting the approval of flying into Nepal for three weeks before flying back to UK without having a chance to work in Nepal for the relief of the quake victims. Later on, the Nepalese media revealed that the government of Sushil Koirala on the advice of the Nepal Army had been reluctant to accept the British offer in retaliation to the British reluctance to release the Nepalese army colonel Kumar Lama held in the UK for the atrocities committed in Nepal during the Maoists’ rebellion.


The unusually disturbing government could not equally manage the immediate settlement of the homeless people in the makeshift shades and tents. Victims managed to procure tents and other items to make temporary shelters at any open spaces available. They had the problem of managing the human defecation, and of the trashes. Soon, the makeshift settlements became chaotic. The presence of the government had been nowhere to be seen.


Distressing victims have the problem of finding their loved ones trapped in debris, and some others have the problem of finding the whereabouts of their loved ones. Millions of Nepalese laborers working in foreign countries spent sleepless nights not knowing what happened to the loved ones in Nepal after the devastating quakes. The telephones companies have generously provide the services of five-minute free calling on any telephone lines to and from abroad.


After a month of the quakes, the government of Sushil Koirala came to the sense of the need for providing something to the quake victims and decided to provide Rs 15,000 to each family of the quake victims. This amount of money would buy two bundles of tin sheets even from the government account. What about other materials required for making a temporary shades to live in for the time they could rebuild their fallen houses, the government obviously did not think about it. Some quake victims came out opposing to accept such a meager relief amount. Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda demanded the government provide the quake victims with at least Rs 50,000.


The already confused prime minister had to face the regime change. Some leaders such as Dr Baburam Bhattarai had been publicly telling the need for a national government at the time of the national distress. He did not bother to elaborate what the national government meant. Probably, the government of all political parties represented in the legislature. He did not say who should be behind the wheel of the new vehicle. The most ambitious leader of CPN-UML KP Oli saw the good opportunity of being a prime minister. Another equally ambitious leader of NC Sher Bahadur Deuba also felt the opportunity of leading a new so-called national government. However, the vice-president of NC Ramchandra Poudel did not see his chance of being a prime minister. So, he opposed the regime change.


At the same time, Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat has been working to funnel all the donations coming to Nepal for the quake victims to the Prime Minster’s Disastrous Relief Fund. The Central Bank of Nepal called Nepal Rastra Bank sent a circular notice to the stare-owned and private banks stating all the donations collected by the NGOs, any philanthropic organizations in any names or in individual names must be automatically deposited in the Prime Minister’s Disastrous Relief Fund. It had put a tremendous brake on collecting donations in the quake victim’s names. None of the donor agencies except for the Asian Development Bank had put any money in the fund. Only Nepalese individuals and agencies have been turning over checks to the prime minister on cameras.


The Prime Minster’s Disaster Relief Fund has already more than Rs 10 billions as of May 30, 2015, according to the State media report. Most of the Nepalese organizations, individuals and non-resident Nepalese have contributed their donations to this fund. One father had turned over the check for Rs 200,000 saved for the wedding of his daughter to the Prime minister Koirala on camera. That was a nice publicity but we did not know where the money would go or to whose pockets.


Apparently, the government had sent a message to the donor agencies through a person posting an It said that the a nine-member committee coordinated by the Vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission of Nepal manages the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund; the prime minister has nothing to do with the fund even though the name is derived from the position.


The news on the following two websites: How the Finance Minister pocketed the relief money:, and Monopoly of the finance minister on distribution of relief money:राहत-वितरणमा-अर्थमन्त्री/ stated that Finance Minster Dr Ram Sharan Mahat had released the money from the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund to his constituency called Nuwakot to the maximum whereas the districts such as Sindhupalchok, Kathmandu and Dhading that suffered the most from the quakes received considerably less money.


Two Deputy Prime Ministers had exchanged harsh words concerning the distribution of the relief materials. They charged each other of misusing the relief materials provided to the quake victims. DPM Prakashman Singh blamed DPM Bamdev Gautam for distributing the relief materials to the CPN-UML cadres only while DPM Gautam charged DPM Sing of claiming the relief materials sent by the government as his own. We must trust both of them because they spoke truth whenever they argued against each other.


Quake victims have practically looted the relief materials from some of the NC leaders. Apparently, the so generous government of Sushil Koirala had provided the different leaders of his party with the relief materials intended for the quake victims. Those very smart leaders but with very poor mind if not mindless in turn distributed the relief materials to the NC cadres. Real quake victims went into a rage, broke the stores and took out the relief materials for them. I did not know whether the NC leaders had deliberately passed on the relief materials to their cadres or the cadres simply happened to be the quake victims, too.


Most of the political parties have set teams to help the quake victims in building their lives back to normal. Prachanda and his colleague Dr Baburam Bhattarai have been persistently on the media helping the quake victims on camera in different areas. Similarly, NC leader Gagan Thapa had been saying that he would build a few hundred shelters. KP Oli and his colleague rather rival Madhav Nepal rarely showed in the media for assisting the quake victims. Former Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal had completely disappeared from the media. He must be sick.


We did not know whereabouts of the supply minister Sunil Bahadur Thapa and his deputy Giri Bahadur KC at the time when their presence was the most needed. They needed to procure in other words buy or receive relief materials from the donor agencies for providing the quake victims. Similarly, their bosses Pashupati Shumsher Rana and Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani did not show up at the time of the national disaster. However, their rival party leader Kamal Thapa had been showing his presence in the media talking everything without meanings.


The helpless quake victims having nothing from the government so far have helped themselves. Some of them have received a few things from the NGOs and other philanthropic organizations but those were unnecessary exaggerated in the media reports. The quake victims have been helping themselves retrieving any usable construction materials from the debris left by the quakes. They have started off building the house with the mud and the leftover construction materials. They have also started off plowing the land and sowing the seeds for the next crops.


The very sensible government of Sushil Koirala had made probably the most arguable announcement of settling the hill quake victims to the Madhesh areas. The current government would not do it if its past performances were any guide. The government had demonstration so much of impotency to do anything aftermath of the quakes, people would hardly believe in it except for the so-called messiah of the Madheshi people Dr CK Raut that had warned the coalition government of NC, CPN-UML, RPP, CPN-ML and so on led by the mindless Prime Minister Sushil Koirala of a civil war if the government were to resettle the quake victims in the Madhesh. Probably, Dr CK Raut had thought that the Madhesh was the dowry of his mother that he labeled it as the land of the women of having the traditional profession of prostitution. We did not know whether Dr CK Raut was born of one of these women or of a mother other than them. However, he managed to have some followers.


The Nepal police had been playing a hide-seek game with Dr Raut. The police arrested Dr Raut in the morning only to deliver him to his family in the evening. NC leader Khum Bahadur Khadka that had served a jail term for corruption said that either the government declared Dr Raut a insane or take actions against him, one of the Nepalese media stated. The head police said that he would take appropriate actions against Dr Raut that had insulted the women in general even putting his job at the risk. This policeman turned out to be equally unforgiving but doing nothing. Some investigative journalists had claimed that the government had been playing the game with Dr Raut to defame the Madheshi people and leaders. I did not know how the government had found some time to play such a dirty politics when the government had been in a national trauma.


May 30, 2015

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