11 - 17 December 2015 #786

Faces of Madhes

Stories of Nepal creator Jaydev Paudel brings tales from Madhes

Stories of Nepal creator Jaydev Paudel recently travelled to the Tarai in search of tales of how peope in the plains are coping with the crisis. His popular Facebook page has now been liked by over 175,000 people. Here are some of the stories.

Awdhesh Prasad Kurmi and Anita Devi Kurmi, Parsa

He would follow me to the door every time I left for work and when I returned he would always come and hug me. I had to feed him or else he wouldn’t eat. I still remember that day very clearly. I was at work and saw my wife come running towards me, screaming with our son in her arms. His hands were suspended in the air, he had been shot in the head and was covered in blood. I rode as fast as I could to take our dying son to the hospital, the police were still firing indiscriminately. When we finally reached, the doctor declared him dead. We are all mourning his loss but she has taken this sorrow to her soul, and won’t talk to us much. Yesterday, our two other children came to her and said, “Ama, we are here for you.” And we all broke down.

Rabindra Kumar Dwivedi, Birganj

I am a simple farmer. I received the most basic education, and I do not understand the current situation of the country. The government and the big politicians say that they have given equal rights to the people of Madhes. The Madhesi leaders tell us that the government has given us no rights at all. And I sit here and wonder, where did all the rights disappear along the way? Who kidnapped the rights? But then again, I am a simple farmer.

Sanjay Yadav, Parsa

Every time I went to the train station to buy goods, I would see him, quietly sitting by the corner. I heard a few people say that he just arrived there one day and no one had any idea where he'd come from. He didn’t beg. He would eat whatever the nearby shop-owners gave him. One day, I went to speak to him but he didn’t say much. He would utter a few words and stop. I felt sorry for him and took him home. I tried to find out where he was from, but no one knew. It has been six years since he began living with us. He is family now, and we all worry if he wanders too far.

Binita Devi Shah, Birganj

People used to say we were the best couple in town. He loved teasing me. He was young, only 25. When our second child was born, he was so happy. He would say, “We will sell tea, eat only one meal a day, but we will make sure to send these two to the best schools and make one a doctor and the other an engineer. We will do everything for them.” Now, my elder son questions me, “Why did father sleep on top of those logs?"

Binita Devi Shah, Birganj

I told him not to go to the protests but he wouldn’t listen. He used to say, “If I don’t go and fight for our rights, then who will?” That day, after lunch, he left without telling me. Shortly after I got a call from the hospital saying that he had been shot. I ran to see him but they wouldn’t let me enter. I cried and told them that he was my husband. As the nurse lifted the cover from his body I saw that half his head was missing. I fainted.

Majir Miya, Birganj

I can only use these paddy stalks to seal my leaking roof, the crop is ruined.

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