Elderly Bhutanese left behind at refugee campSeventy-three-year-old Nar Bahadur Basnet has been living alone at Sector ‘C’ in Beldangi-2 Bhutanese Refugee Camp, Jhapa, from the past three years.
Seventy-three-year-old Nar Bahadur Basnet has been living alone at Sector ‘C’ in Beldangi-2 Bhutanese Refugee Camp, Jhapa, from the past three years.
“There’s no one in my family now,” said Basnet, adding that he has been facing difficulties event for cooking food due to the old age.
Like Basnet, 63-year-old Dhanman Khadka is also left alone after his wife and children resettled in the US and Canada. “I am planning to spend my whole life in this camp as my children have been resettled,” he said.
Another senior citizen Abhinarayan Dhakal of Beldangi-3 camp is also living alone in his hut. His family members also have been resettled in the US and Europe.
According to a survey of the Bhutanese Refugee Janamanch, there are 151 Bhutanese refugees left behind at the camp and that they been separated from their family members. In most case, those who are left behind are elderly males. They are heartbroken when they talk about their family members. “These days elderly male are often seen crying in the camps,” a refugee said.
Meanwhile, the number of such elderly people left behind is increasing as their family members are leaving the camp for resettlement. Dil Mahat, Bhutanese Refugee Janamanch spokesperson, said many refugees have been frustrated as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) violated past commitments.
Dhanman said his family members threatened him to sign a document for resettlement. “When I refused, they left me alone,” he said. Likewise, Dhana Bahadur Magar of Beldangi-1 said his wife divorced him to resettle with children in Canada. “My family members should have discussed the matter with me but the divorced paper came to my house,” he said.
Meanwhile, Beldangi Samp Secretary Sanchahang Subba said the UNHCR bid to resettle families by separating them were against social values of the refugees.”As a result, the number of helpless and depressed refugees has been increasing in the camp. Subba said the UNHCR should provide staffs to take care of such helpless refugees.