Blockade Life: Kathmandu

medicine shortage

Picture Courtesy: Mahan Adhikari

Since the last 2 months, Nepalese have been facing a great ordeal. India has imposed an economic blockade on Nepal, which has caused severe lack of fundamental necessities to the people specially to those living in the Kathmandu valley. Food supplies, fuel, medicines and other important day to day stuffs are imported in a lesser scale which has slowed down the day to day activities of the people of the Valley. The middle-class and the lower-class people have suffered the most while the upper-class people have been using their wealth to get around the problem.  Traveling from one place to another is extremely hard due to the lack of fuel. People are hitch-hiking/ car-pooling from others while the desperate ones are forced to climb atop the vehicles. Traveling has grown to be dangerous, but even the Nepal Police has allowed it as a counter-measure to the shortage of vehicles and fuel.

There is a popular saying, “When it rains, it pours”. Nepalese after recently going through the devastating Earthquake that tore half of the country apart, had to face severe Blockade from our Neighboring country India just when we were in a verse of resurrecting ourselves back up, and now are facing the wrath of the winter combined with the electricity shortage, something we lovingly recall as Load shedding. The nature has proven to be fatal as many people in Terai region have lost their lives. The earthquake left many people homeless with nothing to defend themselves from the sheer cold of the winter.

women cooking in wood

When I inquired people in my locality about their feelings to the array of problems Nepalese have been facing, many of them angrily blamed the decision made by India. Some blamed their own countrymen from Madesh. Many complained about having to dump their vehicles since the black market of fuel has sky-rocketed the price of petrol and diesels. People are forced to buy petrol at a bizarre price even if they didn’t wish to. Women expressed their difficulty in cooking from coal and wood. Fingers were pointed at the inefficiency and ill planned management by Nepal government.

The situation that Nepalese are facing is dire, but when it comes to defending our integrity, sovereignty and nationalism, Nepalese are the most committed ones. The problems might pile up, but we won’t back down. Let’s just hope that the problem of cold and the blockade passes away as soon as possible.