Tuesday , September 18 2018

Hogwash

The average Nepali, as everyone knows, is poor. The choice of their dwelling is based on their purse. Their thatched huts are of little choice. Mud bricks, bamboos and straw roofing are within their limited reach. If they can afford a little more, there is choice in kilned bricks or neighborhood rocks and imported corrugated roofing becomes natural. RBC and RCC construction is for those who can afford the choice. Engineered housing in the rural areas is rarer still. So what are our experts saying when they say they will provide housing that is earthquake resistant to people effected by last year’s earthquake? Are they saying that government is to bear the cost? Can we afford it? Indeed, what they have been saying, on the other hand, is that providing sheer relief and rehabilitation is beyond our means. The media is certainly not asking the right questions from day one of the quake. The political cabal that dominates politics would want to insure that resources be channeled through them and so much large promise has been given. The donors who have demonstrated largesse now conclude that nothing much has been done. We can surely conclude that since what should have been done then was not done, what is being promised to be done will fall far short from expectations. The effected people will remain disenchanted since what is being promised is beyond our very means at the outset.
Of course, the media now concludes that our performance has left us lacking. They should have been aware that our local mechanism has been thoroughly disrupted by the vapid partisan politics of today. The security forces who jumped into the relief activities c could not escape the laudations due them since theirs was the only visible performance. It was clear that they acted suited the urgency and politics could not rein in their performance. None, however, in keeping with political reality, advocated that the security forces be left in charge of the relief and rehabilitation efforts even after the immediate urgency was met. It was merely a question of organization and their organization had already been proved the most adept at locating the effected population and providing them the immediate relief. The other sectors, as was already being reported was more used to preying upon the effected population and their kleptocratic performance is the reason why the effected population is being left high and dry as the media itself now admits. So when so much continues to be media grist in terms of commemorating the tragedy more promises regarding performance cannot but be hogwash. We are talking of reconstruction and rehabilitation as if the effected population is going to be fully subsidized. The effort should have been to help the population to help themselves. In fact, it is this population that is being asked to go through seasonal hardships over the year since the disaster with mere token support even which is said yet to reach the population targeted. Hogwash. We said it. They say it too. The negativity is permeating and all pervasive.

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