Victims of negligenceMost of the relief work usually falls on the shoulders of ordinary citizens rather than the state.
The onset of winter brings with it its own set of problems, particularly if the people in question have to make do with living in flimsy tents exposed to the elements. The people of Gamgadhi in Mugu are in a similar situation. They have been living in draughty tents after losing their homes to a massive fire in the area. The government’s absolute disregard has exacerbated the pain of losing their homes. Although some non-governmental organisations have provided aid, the people’s representatives seem unresponsive even two months into the incident.
With night-time temperatures below freezing, the difficulty of spending months in an uncomfortable environment is evident for all to see, except for the government. The tragedy of Mugu is not an isolated incident. Ignoring the people in need of aid seems to be an endemic issue with the authorities. The people who lost their homes in the Melamchi flood disaster were meted out with a similar treatment. And in another such incident, the Phopil landslide victims hadn’t received any financial compensation almost five years after the incident.
If there is any inference that can be attached to the indifference shown by the state, the message is clear for all; do not fall victim to any form of disaster, and if you do, there is nothing much the authorities can do to alleviate your pain. The provinces will point towards the centre and vice-versa, and apart from the usual rhetoric and assurances, the whole incident is quickly forgotten. And while the victims are made to wait, sometimes for years on end, most of the relief work usually falls onto the shoulders of ordinary citizens and other non-governmental benefactors.
The nonchalant government attitude is utter disrespect to people’s expectations. The least the people expect from their representatives is a sense of security when things go downhill. After all, what is that keeps the administration so occupied? The parliament has been prorogued for nearly six months now, yet there is little doubt that the parliamentarians have shunned their pay and perks. If we can afford to pay our representatives for doing absolutely nothing, surely a tiny sum collected through our taxes can make it back to us in the form of relief packages when we most need it.
The pandemic has been a godsend for those in the administration to shrug off responsibilities. Whether it is the state of our economy or the health sector, shortcomings in any sector are promptly blamed on the pandemic. Still, the truth of the matter is that all sectors have been victims of negligence for far too long, and we, the people, have had to put up with the theatrics of politicians primarily concerned with holding on to power at any cost. Will the people hold the authorities accountable for their electoral promises that have largely gone unfulfilled? Only time will tell.