Villagers help harvest paddy of coronavirus infected family in TanahunAt a time when Covid-19 patients are facing stigma in different parts of the country, people from four villages in Vyas set an example of community solidarity amid this crisis.
Five days before the main day of Dashain festival, 39-year-old D. fainted in his bathroom at midnight. His elderly parents, wife and two children didn’t know what to do. After hearing the family members crying in the middle of the night, the neighbours arrived and arranged for an ambulance.
D. was rushed to Chitwan from his home at Barlanchi village of Vyas Municipality in Tanahun district. He was admitted at Chitwan Medical College Teaching Hospital where he was diagnosed with Covid-19.
He was the first person in his village to get infected with the virus. Unable to pay for his treatment, D. was discharged from the hospital. He returned to Damauli, the district headquarters of Tanahun, and checked into a quarantine centre.
His family members also started observing home isolation, which meant they could not work on the field.
When D. was rushed to the hospital, the paddy on his field was ready for harvesting.
But at a time when the stigmatisation caused by the Covid-19 is being reported all across the country, the people from four villages in Vyas set an example of humanity and community amid this crisis. Twenty-three people from nearby villages of Bagaledee, Pahari Dada, Pakhuri Chowk and Lamsal Dada came to D.’s farm to harvest the paddy on October 25.
“It didn’t even take us two hours to harvest paddy because we were many,” said Shiva Parajuli, one of D’s neighbours. She said it is their village's culture to help fellow villagers who are in need.
Dharma Raj Bagale, a social worker, said the gesture shown by the villagers must be emulated by everyone. “We live in the same village, and helping one another in times of difficulty is our culture,” said Bagale.
Baikuntha Neupane, mayor of Vyas Municipality, praised the villagers for their act of kindness.
“At a time when people are reluctant to show their empathy to the infected people, this is a great help and exemplary work from villagers,” said Neupane. “People should learn a lesson from villagers of Barlanchi,” said Neupane.
D.’s old parents, his wife and their two sons are still in home isolation and they are grateful for the help.
“It’s been two years that I have not been able to work as I have problems with my legs and backbone. My son is the only one who works and he got ill. The help from the villagers was godsend. We cannot thank them enough,” said D.’s 73-year-old mother.
D. is still at the quarantine facility in Damauli. He said he was worried that the rice plants would die on his field.
“I am pleased that villagers arrived to harvest the crop,” D. told the Post over the phone.
“This has increased my confidence and this is a great motivation. I think if people show their helpling attitude at such times of difficulty, it will increase the willpower of an infected person like me,” he said.
Ojaraj Paudel, ward chairperson of Vyas-8, said this is a continuity of help the villagers do in the village when some family members pass through difficult times.
“It’s village culture here. If someone from the village dies in the time of harvesting grains, we have a culture of working on their field without charging them any money. It’s completely voluntary work,” said Paudel.