Indigenous Chepang kids facing double whammy of cold, poverty – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper

Indigenous Chepang kids facing double whammy of cold, poverty - The Himalayan Times - Nepal's No.1 English Daily Newspaper


Many indigenous Chepang children of Simthali in Benighatrorang Rural Municipality in Dhading district have been deprived of two square meals and warm clothes due to acute poverty, orphaned state, and lack of proper parental care.

A majority of Chepang students at Praja Elementary School at Simthali attend school on empty-stomach.

Kali Bahadur Chepang at Simthali has nine children.

Among them only six go to school. Others join Kali Bahadur as daily wagers or spend their day doing household chores.

With so many mouths to feed, Kali Bahadur said he had no choice but to take some of his elder children to work.

Chepang children such as six-year-old Dep Chepang and eight-year-old Kamal Chepang have been facing many ordeals ever since their mother left them a long time ago.

The father, who works as a labourer, often comes home fortnightly. The two Chepang children have been brought up under the care of their grandmother.

Unable to fend off the biting cold for lack of warm clothes, the sight of children coming to school shivering arouses compassion, said teacher Maina.

Last year, Radha Shrestha, a good Samaritan from Kathmandu, had provided stationery materials, clothes and shoes to the impoverished children here. Many of the Chepang children have been using worn out clothes and shoes for years.

Manmaya Chepang, 11, and Santosh Chepang, 14, also share a similar fate. They were orphaned after their father was swept away by the flood.

In the absence of parental care, these children have been living in destitute state.

Although the local government is supposed to secure welfare for marginalised communities such as Chepang, the Chepang community here is far from feeling the difference.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 2, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.

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