Too much of a good thing?
Too much of a good thing?

Can there sometimes be too much of a good thing? Balram Chepang and his neighbours from Ghurmichaur village were beginning to think so.

Out of 270 households in Ghurmichaur, 180 homes are completely destroyed, and 10-15 houses need a lot of repair. Because Chepangs are considered low caste, they folk from Ghurmichaur were not expecting a lot of assistance when they set out on the 5-hour walk to the aid distribution centre. Perhaps 10 kg of rice and some other food. May be a tarpaulin if they were very lucky.

When they arrived, they were very surprised to see that they would be receiving a complete aid package from UMN: two 25 kg sacks of rice, 7 kg lentils, sugar, salt, spices, tea and cooking oil, as well as a tarpaulin, several blankets, a hygiene kit and set of kitchen utensils. Wonderful! But how were they to get all this stuff home?

The villagers looked to Balram as Ward Co-ordinator for his advice. They discussed various options, and finally decided to “chip in” to hire a small truck. Even so, it took five trips to get everyone’s goods back to Ghurmichaur.

Too much of a good thing? No, not really. These supplies will be a tremendous help, providing emergency shelter and food for about two months. By then, they will have built some better shelters, and have found some work to bring in an income.

There’s a long-term challenge, though. Remote villages like Ghurmichaur will need substantial support, particularly in rebuilding houses, schools and health posts. Local leaders like Balram will be a critical part of this process.

Ghurmichaur villagers with their supplies

Waiting for the truck

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