Personal story of Jarkuma

My name is Jarkuma Karki. Together with my family, my two daughters and two sons, I live in Khimati Village Development Committee of the Ramechhap district. We belong to an economically poor class. My husband works as a labourer in India. Aside from the income he generates with his work in India, we have a very small piece of land where we do some buffalo farming. I also work as a wage labourer when there is a demand for workers. I mostly work during the crop-planting and harvesting season.

Before the earthquake, all my children were going to school. Two years ago, with our savings and with the help of a small loan, we were able to build a 3-floor house.  We were living a happy life and gradually paying off our debt.

But on April 25th, the greatest disaster ever hit us. My daughters were eating inside, and I was outside when suddenly everything started shaking. My daughters were trapped in the house, and soon the 2nd and 3rd floors of my house collapsed. One of my daughters was a second away of being hit by the rubble. Although she was saved from bodily harm, the intense fear she experienced caused her to fall unconscious. For a long time she remained mentally disturbed, and I was so worried that I visited a doctor for advice. The doctor told me that she was traumatised by the events of the earthquake. He said she would gradually recover and, thankfully, now she is almost back to her old self.

It was horrible. My house was completely destroyed. My family became homeless. We started to live outside on the streets because we did not have any money to rebuild our home. Our situation became very dire, and for a long time we didn't receive any assistance. All the emergency aid was concentrated around Kathmandu. Because of the continuous aftershocks in our region, support was delayed. We lost all our stored foods and other useful materials. People were saying that they had never seen such a destructive earthquake in their lives.

The support from the government was very minimal. We only received Rs.15000.00 to buy tin for our roof, which hardly covers such a roof.

I am very thankful to the Village Development Foundation (VDF) team and the Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD) for recognising our needs. The support they provided to us is essential as we have lost all our food materials, most of our utensils, other household materials. As it is monsoon season, the umbrella and tin foil will be very useful for our tent. The rice given to us has also been very helpful and will last us a whole month! Thank you again for all your help. However, while we are receiving the basic necessities, we are still worried about our future, as we don’t know what will happen. We have lost everything and have to rebuild our lives in a country where demonstrations and human rights violations are taking place on daily basis. The uncertainty increases day by day, and the dream to recover our old lives seems far away.