Wishes and duties as lockdown starts to ease after over 2 months



After a nearly two-and-a-half months of complete lockdown, Nepal has started easing the strict measures in different phases. Now as people have started to come out of their houses for various purposes — going to office, opening shops or buying things or other work — The Himalayan Times talked to a few people of different walks of lives to know their first few wishes amidst the eased lockdown.

Take up matters with authorities concerned

Madhav Paudyal, 53, coordinator at Central Committee of Private and Institutional/ Boarding School Employees Union (PAB- SEU-Nepal), is currently brainstorming on helping many teachers whose salaries were stopped with the lockdown. He wishes to take the teachers’ plight to the authorities concerned as the lockdown has relaxed to an extent.

“The lockdown started from March 24 but many college teachers had not got their salaries from February itself. The government has not provided any aid to organised/formal sectors like education. So, we are preparing a proposal to submit before the Ministry of Education to address the issue of the teachers,” he shared.

He wishes to awaken the authorities concerned to solve problems in the agriculture sector too.

He said, “Agriculture and livestock sectors can minimise crisis of production of food and dairy items in the country. So, we plan to aware the ministries concerned to take necessary actions to help boost these sectors from individual levels.”

And he feels it is possible to approach the authorities concerned as the lockdown has relaxed to an extent — “it was not possible to reach them during the strict lockdown”.

But does he feel safe to go out of home amid the COVID-19 pandemic? He said they will try to utilise digital platform as much as possible, and if they do go out, they will maintain social distance and follow all kinds of safety measures.

On a personal level, he is panning to go to his relatives’ place in Godavari with his family of three for now.

Cricket dreams

Prince Yakami,15, is a fan of cricket — he often watches them on different TV channels.

But the lockdown across the world has also halted many such matches and thus he was unable to watch the Indian Premium League (IPL) and Everest Premium League (EPL), supposed to take place in March. And since the beginning of lockdown, all he has been doing is watching the PUBG games the whole day.

And he is hopeful as well as impatient for these tournaments to return to TV with the eased lockdown. “Initially, the lockdown was announced for only one week but it kept on extending. So, once the lockdown ends, my school friends and I plan to go to the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground in Kirtipur to watch live EPL,” Yakami said revealing his wish.

But before this, he wants to visit Chandragiri. “My family hasn’t been able to go anywhere this year due to the lockdown.

Otherwise, we would have a family trip to different places for New Year celebration.

And if we get a public bus in, I plan go shopping with my mum.”

Go in search of a job

Ram Duwal, 49, lives in Bhaktapur but his workstation is in Basantapur — he is the proprietor of a curio shop there.

Yearning to visit and know the condition of his shop, which he has not been able to visit since the beginning of the lockdown, he struggled to reach his shop on June 7.

“I thought the lockdown was supposed to be relaxed from June 7, but I was wrong. So, as I stepped out on the road on my bike, I found it empty, and being patrolled by cops — my blood pressure shot up, I felt dizzy and could not reach my shop. So, I went to my friend’s home in Bafal, instead,” he revealed.

His friend brought Duwal home safely, but since then he has quit his desire to visit his shop until the lockdown ends.

Yet he is worried about his shop and wishes for the lockdown to end completely.

He said, “All the money that I had saved was spent during the lockdown. Now I need to manage money for my children’s education and family expenses. And the government had also asked to clear taxes.

So, I am thinking of selling this small shop and start looking for a job after the lockdown.”

Personal care, relearn skills

The first thing that Rosani Khadka, 20, wants to do after the relaxation of the lockdown is treat her skin problem as she has been plagued by pimples on her face.

Khadka, who never had pimples on her face before the lockdown, said, “I was at home without applying any cream on my face, and I started getting pimples from third week of the lockdown. I thought of visiting a dermatologist but I was afraid if the police would let me commute during the lockdown. But as I have heard the lockdown has relaxed to some extent, I plan to visit the doctor with a neighbour.”

Khadka, who was staying in Bhaktapur, had just started a three-month tailoring course when the lockdown was announced.

“I had started paper cutting, stitching and measuring skill for five days and the lockdown began. So, a few days later I returned to my birthplace in Banepa. As I don’t have a sewing machine here, I have forgotten everything that I had learnt.” So, she is also looking forward to returning to Bhaktapur and continue to learn tailoring.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 16, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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