24-30 June 2016 #814

Her second monsoon

Many women survivors like Nani Maiya Prajapati face their second monsoon in temporary shelters.

Bikram Rai

Not much has changed in Nani Maiya Prajapati’s life since her husband and four other family members were killed when their house in Sankhu collapsed in last year’s earthquake. The only difference is that, unlike when we interviewed her last year for a page 1 story in this newspaper, she is no longer dressed in a white mourning sari.  

Everything else is the same: the tin hut next to the ruins of her home, the recurring nightmares, the loneliness, the lack of cash, and a heavy sense of grief and loss that time has not healed. Prajapati’s husband, daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and mother-in-law were all killed in the earthquake. 

She does not have money to rebuild her home, and without her husband she does not know how to do the paperwork to seek official help. Many women survivors like her face their second monsoon in temporary shelters.

“The government hasn’t given us anything, and I can’t build a house by  myself,” she said. “I am working in the fields and knitting sweaters just to earn enough to survive from day to day.”

Prajapati, 47, says she must look to the future. She has managed to buy some kitchen utensils, a gas cylinder, stove, and a clock (above). Time has ticked away while she waited for government help that never came.

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Women still waiting to rebuild homes and lives, Shreejana Shrestha

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