Balmaya remembers standing in front of her garden when the entire house and ground started shaking and quavering. She fell unconscious, but thankfully woke up to see that her entire family was unharmed! When the quaking stopped, this family and most other villagers were homeless. And with her stored food buried under rubble, Balmaya didn’t know how to feed her family.
A mother of five, married to a sick man, Balmaya has been an active member of a women’s group for ten years.
The first few days, she explains, villagers waited for government aid; it was rumored that supplies had arrived at the district headquarters. Yet they received nothing. She and others think it is because they are Dalits, “We are never a priority! “, she says.
But a few days later, it was ADWAN that arrived with urgently needed rice, lentil, blankets, tents, and other items.
“I will never forget the day ADWAN arrived with food and relief aid in my village. We can’t imagine if we didn’t receive any support from ADWAN. Thank you ADWAN for your support in this difficult time” – Balmaya
Today, the family lives in a shelter of straw, tarp, and debris, and Bal Maya worries about keeping everyone safe during the monsoon. People are pessimistic about delivery of government supplies for temporary homes– let alone for permanent ones. With tears in her eyes she says, “Even though we have survived the earthquakes, our future is so uncertain! Once the aid ration is finished, I will have to borrow money to buy food and medicine.”
Since that horrible day, she has not been herself, Balmaya says. The trauma, the stress and the total destruction have her feel very anxious for the future.
She says that members of her women’s group have met a few times since the earthquake; and they plan to resume their activities and to help each other rebuild their lives. They hope ADWAN will be there for them.