Monday, July 14, 2014

The Silent Crisis

By: Binit Gurung

A few hours’ drive uphill from the thriving Gorkha Bazaar leads to its antithesis Bhachhek bazaar. Even a brief stay in Bhachhek bazaar would suffice to know the problems afflicting this otherwise beautiful village town in Gorkha district that however appears to have caught in a time warp. Inhabited by a mix of peoples like Newar, Tamang and Gurung, Bhachhek is plagued by a massive loadshedding, no running water and pathetic education scenario. All these make a stark contrast to Gorkha Bazaar where such basic facilities are readily available. The way of life is largely steered by these dominant problems touching upon the lives of every dweller. Every day from the early morning till the day ends, people are invariably busy grappling with the daily hassles. Though a project is apparently underway to bring water to the area, the locals are skeptical about it saying they would be convinced only when they see results. It takes almost an hour to go on foot and fetch water from the nearby hill for the household usage. The water that is fetched is also unfit for drinking purpose. The electricity crunch further adds to the woes. It is only during the evening electricity is available but there’s no guarantee. A woman rues that she has a TV set at home but it is of no use. She says the children, therefore, don’t stay at home during holidays and play around in dust and dirt the whole day. The lack of higher education institution makes things worse. The local government school has only 3 teachers and offers classes only up to grade 5. Those wishing to study further have to go to nearby villages namely Lapsibot and Kafaldada or join a relatively costly local private school. When asked why she didn’t migrate to some other place with her family, a woman replied “who has money to migrate? Migration is a luxury we cannot afford. Perhaps this is our fate. We have no option other than to put up with all these problems.”

Bhachhek Bazaar
Photo: Rakesh Kayastha

an overturned water tap with no running water, symbolic of the chronic water crisis in Bhachhek

A woman doing dishes from the water she fetched from the hill by walking almost an hour from her residence
Photo: Rakesh Kayastha
Buckets being readied to fetch water

Established in 1957 A.D., Shree Bhachhek Prathmik Vidyalaya has no infrastructure to speak of. It has not been upgraded from the primary level and is the only government school in Bhachhek.

a young girl arrives at the school well ahead of time only to find the door locked
Photo: Rakesh Kayastha

the school has only 35 students in total


  1. Hats off for the realistic insight of Bhachhek village! I hope developmental activities come here soon.

  2. I have been to this place a year before. At least one can get bus to Gorkhabazar and Kathmandu during early hours of the day.