Reconstruction drive under Indian Government brings happiness to people of Gorkha

Gorkha, September 2: Until last year, Arjun Sunar’s life was still largely in limbo as he lost his house in 2015 earthquake. Though the government of Nepal had announced to provide a grant for reconstruction, Arjun had no idea about how to start over. Arjun then attended a session of the Free Drawing Initiative held in a school in Gorkha, organised jointly by UNDP’s…

Gorkha [Nepal], September 2 (ANI): Until last year, Arjun Sunar’s life was still largely in limbo as he lost his house in 2015 earthquake.

Forty-year-old Arjun was working as an employee at a bread-making factory in Chitwan and used to earn 12,000 Nepali rupees a month, most of which he used to send back home for his family of five.

Arjun’s eldest son Ganesh is suffering from paralysis on one side of the body and required constant care while he himself had lost fingers of his right hand. As earthquake flattened his house he had no bases to construct it and had planned to move out from his ancestral place of Kusunde, Padhera to some other place.

But he had no lands elsewhere and in order to move out from pre-existential place he had to take a hefty loan from relatives, which would pile up debt on his previous 1 million Nepali rupees, which he took for the treatment of his son.

“I have huge loans to pay off, but more than the money as such, I’m worried about my son’s condition. I just want him to be able to go to school, be happy,” Arjun recalled his bygone days.

Though the government of Nepal had announced to provide a grant for reconstruction, Arjun had no idea about how to start over. He didn’t have a building permit from the municipality nor any kind of pre-requisites to start over building a new shelter for his family.

Arjun then attended a session of the Free Drawing Initiative held in a school in Gorkha, organised jointly by UNDP’s Gorkha Housing Reconstruction Project — part of the socio-technical facilitation support for reconstruction funded by the Government of India — and the Palungtar Municipality, in collaboration with the Tribhuvan University Institute of Engineering (IoE).

“It’s nice to know that help is available, because the reconstruction process can seem very complicated when you are doing it by yourself,” Arjun says. “Even if there’s still a long way to go before our lives can return to normal, the guidance from the team has given us a much-needed boost in that direction.”

After learning of his situation, the team helped Arjun measure his house, and prepare a drawing to submit to the municipality. Now Arjun has shifted into his newly built house with his family.

“God knows what would have been my fate if the Government of India and UNDP hadn’t taken the steps to help people like us for reconstruction. It’s only because of them I and my family are able to shift to a new house,” he said.

The Government of India, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on March 8, 2018 signed a partnership agreement to expedite the post-earthquake reconstruction process in Nepal.

Under the agreement, the Government of India provided a US$ 16.2 million grant to the two UN agencies (US$ 8.79 million to UNDP and US$ 7.41 million to UNOPS) to support safer reconstruction of 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot. While UNDP provided this facilitation to 26,912 houses in Gorkha and UNOPS covered 23,088 houses in Nuwakot. (ANI)