#foodfornepal – a good news story in Chepang Village
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
(From founder of LCUN – Raj)
We recently went to Chitwan Ichyakamana Rural Municipal (Chepang Village) for a short visit. We discovered poverty in this area. The people live separately from each other, with houses spread out on different hillsides. It was so nice to learn about their lifestyle and culture, and meet the nice and kind people. Most of the families have more than 5 children, and the parents used to work as daily wage earners in construction, building roads, houses etc. Life has become even more difficult now that they can’t earn a daily wage due to Covid-19, and they can’t provide #DaalBhat for their family.
Such a picturesque village
They have small fields to grow food, but for big familes there is not enough food to last a whole year. This year they were expecting corn crops to feed them for few months but with the frequent rain the plants have became yellow and this is causing more stress for the villagers.
Corn field In front of home
We interviewed local community leaders who know the Chepang community well, and confirmed they are extremely poor. We then visited several houses and saw first hand the real situation of their poverty.
Homes on the hillsides
And then two days later🙏
We started our day at 4:30 am and drove to the Ichyakamana Rural Municipal Ward No 6 Kaalikhola (Chepang Village), located 115 km from Kathmandu.
Home for local Chepang family
Our aim was to provide food packages for needy families there, and with a few more families added on from another village, we ended up providing emergency food packages for 115 families.
We brought all the food in Mugling and our LCUN volunteers prepared all the food packages and got ready to go. Once there, local police, the Ward Chairman, local leaders and local volunteers helped us to make our food campaign easier, and they were very supportive. There was a national television reporter also involved to see how we were doing our food campaign.
LCUN volunteers weighing out food at market
Trucks arrive with their load
Ward chairman (in checked shirt) happy to receive help from LCUN for his community
We separated all the groups and asked them to wash their hands and wear a mask before they received the food. Everybody washed their hands but some of them didn’t wear a mask. We asked them ‘Why don’t you wear a mask?’ They answered that they were not scared to die from Coronavirus, but were scared to die from hunger. It was an extremely emotional moment. While there we didn’t ask everyone, but we estimate more then 90% of the people have their own painful stories. Whilst we felt so sad, at the same time we were also very happy to bring a little joy to their beautiful faces.
This area isn’t very far from Muglin Bazaar, but it is not really developed compared to other villages. Most People are not educated and need more awareness for hygiene, and better health education. Most kids are walking without slippers on in the 30-35 ° C with no foot pain, wearing a warm jacket in summer. Seeing all this brought tears to my eyes. They were just running around and didn’t seem to care about their health, probably due to a lack of education. I hope they will soon change their habits.
Barefoot children saying thank you
Villagers waiting for food packages from LCUN
While we were distributing the food packages we ensured all volunteers were wearing a mask, gloves, washing hands and keeping social distances. We provided the food to all the needy familes and everybody was so happy and gave us happy smiles and blessings instead of saying ‘thank you’. One thing about these Nepali people is when they are happy they just laugh after receiving things, and we need to understand that they already gave us thank you. This is the way of their culture. However some said thank you in their language and Nepali as well.
Villager showing his gratitude
Everybody said that they had never previously received food relief like we provided. Even though they had complained before, they had never received proper food relief. People were in such a rush when they received the food. Some were very excited just to take rice bags at first but we convinced them we had food packages for them all. The Local Chairman was also very happy and spoke in front of the crowd to say that although he wasn’t able to feed them well during this difficult time the Lets Clean Up Nepal organization supported them and he was very happy. Everybody clapped their hands, and were all so joyful.
LCUN founder Raj talking to community
LCUN volunteers and local villagers
We suggested to them that each and every plastic bag needed to be brought back to the Chairman’s office, and they all agreed to bring the plastic bags back for recycling. If we just left the plastic bags there, they would burn them or throw them out into nature. We don’t want to add more pollution in their village, and on Mother Earth. We always plan to leave only our foot prints, wherever we go, doing our campaigns.
While overall this campaign was a great success the return trip to Kathmandu was not easy for us. We had pre-arranged permission letters (passes) but while coming to the valley the police checked and investigated, and although we had followed all the rules they made us stay more than 1 hour. In fact they wanted us to return to back to the village. It was difficult to talk with them regarding this critical situation but thankfully as we had our all documents they were convinced to allow us to return to Kathmandu.
Slow traffic heading back to Kathmandu
Even though we had faced some difficulties, overall the food campaign was a great success, and we are happy to help those families.
Thank you so much to the fundraising team, our generous donors, and volunteers on the ground in Nepal for all the great support.
We will be adding more stories from the successful #foodfornepal food campaign soon.