11 - 24 October 2013 #677

Dasain dasa

Many farmers lost their ready-to-harvest paddy destroyed by the rainfall this week
Bhrikuti Rai in BIRATNAGAR

The incessant rainfall over the week dampened Dasain festivities for the Rajbansi family in the quiet neighbourhood of Bakri in Biratnagar. They had just begun harvesting their paddy fields when cyclone Phailin dumped heavy rains for three days in the eastern and mid-Tarai region of Nepal.

“Our land is our main source of income, we had just started harvesting, but the rain and wind damaged them,” says Gyana Devi Rajbansi. “We hope the weather improves soon so that we can minimise our loss this year,” the 55-year-old grandmother of three added.

Almost all the families in Bakri who were waiting to harvest their ripened crops felt helpless as they saw strong wind and rain raze through their fields wiping their months of intensive labour. “We are yet to see how much we can make use of the fallen crops now,” says 70-year-old Ganesh Kamat as he looks over his almost barren field. Kamat who used to sell surplus rice in the local haat bajar says this year the harvest will be just about enough only for his family of six.

Says Kamat: “This year Dasain turned out be a dasa (misfortune) for us.”