Indra Maya Shankar, 2012
Life like hell in the place like heaven — Mountainous region
As a right to food activist for the last five years, I had a dream to travel to the Karnali region, a mountainous area while doing field work. Mugu in the Karnali region is surrounded by nature. Out of the 75 districts in Nepal, it is listed last in terms of the human development index. Many people around the world appreciate its natural beauty — sky blue Rara Lake nearby Mugu. However, one can find extreme poverty and hardship that the villagers face in their daily life. In April 2011 I visited Mugu for the first time along with my foreign colleagues.
We went down from the airplane landing area to Rugha Village Development Community (VDC) in Mugu. The village is on the lap of Mugu where anyone can observe the difficult life of the villagers. There we had an informal conversation with a woman from the Dalit community who expressed various problems in her life. “This is hell, not Mugu” she said with tears in her eyes. “We face death even from a common and curable disease because they don’t have access to medical treatment here. Sometimes we even feel like we are living in a desert when we face scarcity of water, who said that Nepal holds second position in world’s richest country in water resources?”