Tragic Loss
Tragic Loss

A heavy sense of sadness lies over the small tin shed where Kumar Chepang, his wife Sarita and daughter Sakun live now. They lost their house in the April 25 earthquake, but that wasn’t the worst of it – they also lost seven-year-old Kushal, Sakun’s little brother.

Sarita is a member of one of our partner’s self-reliant groups. She explained what had happened. She and Sakun had been out working the fields, leaving Kushal at home. When the earthquake came, their mud and stone house collapsed completely. With the help of neighbours, they searched desperately. At last they found his body, buried in the rubble.
Her husband Kumar is a police officer, stationed in Chitwan. He had been injured in a police operation there, and was resting in his quarters when the earthquake came. Several hours later, he received the dreaded call from his sister, telling him his son Kushal had been found dead. Grief-stricken, he enlisted the help of friends to get home quickly. It was five days before he could hold the proper funeral rituals for his son, as priests were hard to find. “This is the greatest tragedy of my life,” he says. 

In spite of his sorrow and his injury, Kumar has been working hard to build a temporary shelter for his wife and daughter. He is very grateful that UMN has provided enough food for his family for two months, as well as a tarpaulin, blankets, hygiene kit and kitchen utensils. Now he needs to get back to his duties, as the police are very busy with earthquake response work. He feels he will never recover from the loss of his son, but least he knows that his remaining family has food and shelter. 

NOTE: Sakun is one of UMN’s Child-Centred Community Development Project “Child Partners”.

The Chepang family in front of the ruins of their house, where Kushal died.

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