They are barely four km away from the capital, yet no relief or rescue teams have reached about 50,000 residents of Nepal’s Ramkot village where almost everybody is spending the nights in makeshift tents, or under open skies, with fast-dwindling food supplies.
The entire village has turned into intermittent heaps of rubble and none of the villagers are staying in any of the hundreds of buildings.
“We have more than 1,000 households in this village. Most houses have been completely destroyed, while wide cracks have appeared on the walls, floors and ceilings of the few buildings that are still standing. With no government help and support we don’t know how we would survive,” Dinesh Sunar, a jewellery maker from Ramkot told HT over phone.
“Since the day of the quake we have been buying rice from a local shop. That store was destroyed, and it started operating from the open road, and the rice was finished quickly. For the past two days we are living on parched rice (cheera). We are afraid that even this stock would run out,” said Sunil Rai, another local resident.
The villagers now fear the outbreak of diseases. "If something like that breaks out, we would die helplessly as there is no access to medicines," said Sunar.
Not a single house in the village is in habitable condition anymore, claimed Sunar. While a few managed to build makeshift shelter by the side of the road with tin shades and tarpaulin sheets, the rest are living on roads under the open sky since April 25, the day of the killer quake.
Ramkot falls on the same belt as the epicentre of the quake. “As I speak to you, I can feel tremors,” Sunar told this correspondent on Monday evening.
An official from the Nepal government confirmed that although it is quite close to the capital, the roads connecting Kathmandu and Ramkot have been virtually destroyed and it is impossible to transport relief material.
“The government is trying hard to distribute relief material among the victims of Ramkot. But it will take a few more days,” claimed the official who requested anonymity.
Locals believe that Ramkot was named so because Lord Ram spent a few days here during exile. According to legend, Lord Ram left his vastra here. Sitapaila, the village development community is named after Sita. There is a temple of Sita here, which devotees believe has her footprints.
“The condition is pathetic here. The government has started acting but it’s very slow. What we feel is that the problem is with funds,” said Rupesh Poudel, a victim and the president of the UNESCO club in Ramkot.
Even the livestock in and around the community have been affected as several cows and cattle died of diphtheria, better known as Bhyagute rog among the Nepalese.