A small house with a roof covered with plastic to prevent leak. It looks like the house has not been cleaned for ages. The old house is trying to take a rest now. In a same house two children are living a pathetic life in a daily basis since long time.
This is a picture of a Bote gaun situated at Baganaskali Rural municipality-7, Daulatung in Palpa district. After the death of their parents, two Bote children are not only alone but they have become like abounded orphans. Fourteen years old Hema Bote and her 10 years old brother Santa Bir Bote are living a very hard life in absence of their parents.
Hema is physically disabled and it is hard for her to move easily and her brother Santabir studies in standard 1 and he hardly goes to school twice or thrice a month. The school is just five minutes’ walk however they could not be attracted by the school.
It has been three years sinch their mother left them. After the death of their mother, their father also died with a leg ailment a year ago. They were living with grandmother after the death of their parents and now they are in further crisis after the death of their grandmother too.
Problems from kitchen to clothing
On November 12, until late morning, their oven did not have any fire. There is a sack of rice in kitchen side but there are no vegetables to cook. There were no salt, no spices. Santabir said in a painful voice, “we have rice but no vegetables to cook, there are many nights we slept in starvation”.
They do not have any bed or blankets to make them warm. Their house is in the bank of Kali Gandaki, the windblown during the winter enters directly into their room. Their roof leaks during rainy days. Santabir has two elder brothers and they do labor in Nepalgunj. They bought rice with a money that their elder brothers send them. Two sisters (elders) are already married.
Every times, the rain destroyed their books
Hema is not really interested to study and do not go to the school. According to teachers, Santa Bir is cleaver but he faces difficulties at the time of going school. That is why he do not go to school. He takes out the suitcase with books from the roof and says” All books used to be wet by water, now I am keeping it in suitcase to prevent it from being wet”.
What is the alternative for Hema and Santabir?
They do not have any property except that old house. Their daily life is getting harder. Local leader Gajbir Bote said” they are really having a troublesome life. There are child protection centers in other districts. It would have been better if they could go in such centers.”
Member Padam Raj Basyal of Human Rights Watch Committee formed by INSEC said that these children are living a harder life and they are in need of support. He added “ in this village six children are parent less, but Santa Bir and Hema are living a pathetic life as compared to others”.
Ward secretary Hari Basyal said that Hema can receive support by making a disability card. He said that the office will initiate for this.
Manoj Acharya, acting chief of Women and Children Office shown his commitment of providing support to them on behalf of the office. He further said that the problem will be solved with a coordination of other NGOs and organizations of the district.
Bote Children are still facing problem
There are 17 Bote families living in Dailatung. There is one basic school nearby which is operating schools up to 8th standard. Alll Bote children are admitted in the school. But, the trend of going school is almost nil. Majority of children spend their time by fishing near the bank of Kali Gandaki.
Students completing 8th standards had to walk for almost two hours to get secondary education and there are only two Bote students according to Principal Kalpana Bhushal of Khanigaun Secondary School.
By the time of receiving the secondary education, most of the students would have already left the school. Principal Keshav Kharal of Dailatung basic school said that the government has failed to attract Bote students in the school despite of lunch and other allowances. Till now, only two Bote students have completed their school level.