Nobody can deny that the maoistic Prime Minister Barburam Battarai finally
succeeded in including something in the country during the six months
of his office, even if he is criticized sharply by the opponent parties
and his own base. Barburam Battarai is an intelligent, incorruptible
Politian, who has a true vision of his country's future. He does everything
to realize it. Nepal's position is that one of a prisoner between India
and China, and the Prime Minister negotiates adaptably with the two
fast growing powers, so that his country can participate in this development
- as much as possible.
Finally the financial help of the USA, Europe or the International Monetary
Fund is used for great projects, and now the struggle against corruption
in Nepal is the most important one.
Roads and bridges are built everywhere and most of the Nepalese who
live without electricity at the moment, will get it in a few years,
if everything works according to their plans of big hydro-electric plants.
There is a network of roads of 1500 km in the Kathmandu Valley. 500
km of these roads will be enlarged or new built. Therefor many houses
of the roadsides have to be destroyed, and their owners must be remunerated.
But ten thousands of slum occupiers who have been living (amnd often
built houses) on property of the government for thirty years, are offered
on 150 Euros / 195 US $ per family to leave their settlements. They
feel like getting a slap on the face in view of that ridiculous sum.
Just these people, who made sure that the party of the Prime Minister
came to power feel treated unfair and demonstrate, as soon as the government
publishes a new date for the destruction of the slums.
The situation goes on and on, but the inhabitants of the slums still
believe that they will win against the apparatus of state. Most of the
settlements lie at the riversides of the city and their inhabitants
simply ignore, that the gigantic bridges "grow" about their
Nobody can predict when the government suddenly will send their bulldozers
in Order to flatten huts and houses. We adapt ourselves to the facts
in our slum of Banshingat. Ewe go on looking after the children and
continue our educational work and our program of nutrition.
In spite of the uncertain situation we established a health station
for abou 1000 Euros / 1300 US $ in a larger slum, where there are living
10 000 people. Muna (who nos has got a diploma in health care) and Sija
are responsible for the medical examinations of children, women, and
old people. They distribute medicine - free of charge. Muna accompanies
people to the hospital, if it is necessary. Amit's right arm was amputated
because of cancer (she is 17 years old). "Our" two young women
"prepare" an arm prosthesis by a stringent physiotherapy.
It is the lack of money but the ignorance of the parents who often are
responsible for the hopeless situations of their children. Riya was
an excellent pupil still a year ago. Suddenly she moaned about a very
heavy headache and wouldn't go to school any more. Only after four weeks
her mother took her to hospital, when she fainted. It was an acute meningitis
that has destroyed the girl's brain completely. Now she is nourished
by a tube in a dirty room at home and she has no chance to survive.
And there is Saugat who urgently needs a kidney. His father refuses
to spend one. His mother would like to do it, but her husband and her
family forbid it because she works on building sites every day to support
their family. So Saugat will die also.
All these cases are unbearable for us, because the parents themselves
are responsible for the tragedy of their children. It is not difficult
to give them some material help, but we feel helpless in consideration
of the adults' great mental and psychological poverty. Many Nepalese
suffer from diabetes, but they ignore their doctor's recommendation
concerning their food and the prescription of insulin. "We have
no money for that", they always say again 80 % of children, younger
than ten months, suffer from anaemia. In the more distant regions people
starve. Furthermore the seed of gene manipulated maize (ordered by the
government) only produced gigantic plants, but there was not a single
corn in the cobs.
Suicide is a big problem in Nepal. It is the most common cause of women's
death, when they are childbearing aged. Every year the number is going
up. If they are unable to give birth to a son, they are condemned by
the society. The poverty, the impossibility to pay school fees and the
violence of the husbands make the women get dull, depressive and unable
to react in case of emergency. Now it is the task of Sija and Muna to
cope with sex education- as much as possible. Because of her qualification
Muna may give three months injections that shall protect the women from
pregnancy. Unfortunately most of the women cannot stand that dangerous
method of contraception. It is not useful to distribute the pill, because
the women forget to take it always again, and condoms are refused by
most of the men.
Sija and Muna do not only work in the health station at the moment but
alsio organized a duty rota. It will make it possible for us to reach
more people in other slums, who need help.
While the Prime Minister is modernizing his country, he goes on forgetting
his people. Without organisations like ours the poor would be totally
helpless and all alone.
Once more thanks a lot to all of you who give their loyal support to
this help. We will get in touch with you with news from Kathmandu in
the first days of September.