and in Nepal life continues… albeit on foot

Felt boots and stilettos

I have spent today helping my colleagues write a grant to try and get funding to set up a midday meal program, community kitchen and community garden in a poor rural village affected greatly by the earthquake. My colleagues and the students care deeply for their broader Nepali community. Their only impetus for doing this work is to try and help their fellow citizens improve their own lives. They don’t get paid extra for it. They just care.

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Dear Nepal and India: put humanity before politics

Now is the time to think BEING HUMAN not the clause of the constitution which is barging political interest between two countries. Later the both country personnel can sit and discuss for hours days months but now is not the time to clash with each other. Nepal is in dire need of many resources which could be brought from India. Withhold the portion of the constitution which is creating chaos for the time being and concentrate on relief work. Was it so important to amend constitution right at the midst of this havoc human crisis??

Thinking Aloud: India’s Ire Bringing Nepal to Its Knees

Not What You Might Think

Sept. 29, 2015 by Darius 

A week after adopting its first-ever constitution, Nepal is facing a fuel shortage so severe that the Nepali government has imposed driving restrictions based on the last digit of motorists’ license plates. Why has the constitution led to the fuel shortage? Because India has decided to express its displeasure about the constitution by stopping the flow of supplies across the border into Nepal.

The constitution in Nepal was not met without controversy. In particular, some Nepalis take exception with provisions of the constitution dealing with ethnic minority status. Furthermore, some religious nationalists object to Nepal’s officially enshrined status as a secular state rather than a Hindu one. Protests have been most severe in Nepal’s southern regions, which border India. Many ethnic groups in southern Nepal also live across the border in India. India complained that Nepal’s government moved too quickly in passing and implementing…

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Out of the night of negativity… towards the sun shining bright

not commenting anything about it just reblogging it 🙂

from my perception

Clouds of negativity have surrounded us so deep that we fail to see beautiful life just ahead of us. We stare at the locked door too long that we forget about much better opportunities knocking at the other door. We have started searching a reason to complain, not a reason to appreciate. Our intellect has been encapsulated by the negativity so badly that we are not even able to think. This is my pledge to my dearest Nepalese brothers and sisters to stop filling my Facebook homepage with #backofindia and other post of that kind.

Firstly, see the beauty of life. How beautiful life is? Why are we running after things we don’t have?  Having been so used to petroleum products, sudden blockade from Indian Government has been a great difficulty. But let’s see it from a different view. Don’t you think strengthening of Nepal-China trade would be great? How…

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Nepal is angry with India, so it turns off the TV[ courtesy: The Washington Post]

September 29 at 9:24 AM

Students protest near the Indian Embassy against the blockade of cargo trucks along the border with India in Kathmandu on Monday.

At first India was publicly unhappy with the new constitution that its Himalayan neighbor passed last week. Then Indian trucks carrying cooking fuel, gasoline, salt, sugar and rice stopped crossing the border with Nepal after local protests erupted against the new charter.

The result: There is now a groundswell of anger against India in Nepal, a country still struggling to recover from the devastating earthquake in April that killed over 9,000 people and left tens of thousands more homeless.

The Nepali people are accusing India of punishing them by deliberately blocking the supply of essential goods. What makes matters worse is that the landslides caused by the earthquake have destroyed alternate supply routes from China and increased the landlocked nation’s reliance on imports from India.

People in Nepal are calling it the “unofficial economic blockade by India.”

On Monday, Nepal’s Home Ministry said the country is facing an “emergency” situation in fuel supply. Long lines are a common sight at gas stations across the country. Angry protesters are shouting anti-India slogans on the streets. Nepal’s cable television association has stopped showing 42 Indian news and entertainment channels across the country because of rising anger among the people.

Indian officials say that there is no official embargo and that the truck drivers carrying goods are afraid of going into Nepal because of the violent demonstrations by the ethnic minority groups living in the country’s southern plains. The groups, considered close to Indians, are seeking greater political power in the new constitution.

Dozens of people have been killed in the protests. “The reported obstructions are due to unrest, protests and demonstrations on the Nepalese side, by sections of their population,” Vikas Swarup, India’s foreign ministry spokesman, said last week. But analysts in Nepal contest the Indian statement.

The head of the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, Narayan Man Bijukchhe, said India has declared a “communal war” with Nepal. The former attorney general in Kathmandu, Yubaraj Sangraula, called the lack of supplies “an act of aggression.”

The shortage of fuel and goods has brought back horrific memories for many people in Nepal who suffered an official economic blockade by India in 1989. New Delhi shut down border crossings into Nepal and cut off links to an Indian port after a trade dispute. That blockade lasted 13 months.

Nepal Rations Fuel Amid Worsening Political Crisis and Alleged Indian Blockade[ courtesy : TIME]

Swati Gupta / New Delhi

Current supplies may only last a matter of weeks

Massive protests and a diplomatic confrontation between India and Nepal over the latter’s new constitution has resulted in trucks carrying goods and fuel from India to halt at various checkpoints at the Nepalese border, forcing the earthquake-ravaged nation to ration fuel amid growing fears of a shortage.

On Sept. 20, the constitution of Nepal came into effect after a political quagmire that lasted nearly a decade — a move that prompted mass demonstrations that have so far led to more than 40 deaths, according to Reuters. New Delhi has also complained about the inequality the document afforded to certain minority groups in Nepal that predominantly live near the nations’ shared frontier.

Nepalese people wait in a queue to fill petrol for their vehicle near a petrol station in Kathmandu

Indian trucks have stopped entering Nepal ostensibly because of security concerns amid the simmering unrest, though many Nepalis accuse India of imposing a blockade in order to put pressure on its northern neighbor, and an effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reportedly set ablaze amid anti-India protests in Kathmandu on Monday. Faced with fears that fuel could run out within a matter of weeks, the Nepalese government has begun rationing gasoline and introduced a quota system for all vehicles.

According to Swarnim Wagle, a member of the Nepal National Planning Commission, the shortage of essential supplies will soon prove crippling. The landlocked Himalayan nation’s dependence on imports from India has increased after April’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which killed some 9,000 people and blocked alternative supply routes from China. “We understand the Indian view that because of security issue they cannot allow the trucks to pass,” says Wagle. “The [Nepal] government’s view is that once they come to the Nepal side, security forces will escort them inside.”

India’s Foreign Ministry has denied the presence of a blockade at the border checkpoints. “The reported obstructions are due to unrest, protests and demonstrations on the Nepalese side, by sections of their population,” said a statement issued on its website on Sept. 25.

Kamlesh Kumar, the assistant commissioner of customs at the Indian border town of Raxaul, says some 300 or 400 protesters have made a human chain and are sitting on the Nepal side, blocking access and creating a security issue for Indian exporters. Raxaul and its corresponding Nepalese post, Birganj, form one of the border openings that have been closed for the past five days. “Around 1,000 trucks are waiting for clearance at the customs check point,” adds Kumar.

Getting started … the next MAKE DO TELL

ARTISTS in COMMUNITY International

We are currently working out the details of our upcoming Make Do Tell project in Nepal and India. 

In NEPAL : We will be returning to the brick kilns to work with the itinerant worker families who will be struggling even more during this post-earthquake period. We know from UEMS, the organisation with whom we collaborate, that all the brick kiln chimneys were destroyed and one worker killed. They are now in the process of rebuilding and re-establishing production. 

Brick workers in NepalOn this project, we work closely with UEMS to help develop stronger community links so that adults and children can access health services, improve their health through better hygiene practices, and access education. 

You can read about the Brick kiln projects in our posts  In the Brick Kilns: andBoys Beasts and Painting.

more to come … projects with the Nepal School of Social Work, and with the…

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