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Saptari fire victims left in the lurch

A wildfire spreading in Jumdanda Community Forest of Bandipur, Tanahun, on Friday. Photo: THT

Rajbiraj, April 14, 2016: At a time when the entire nation is celebrating the new year, the day did not bring any cheer to the fire victims of Saptari.

On Saturday, a fire in Matigadi, Hariharpur VDC-3 of Saptari had reduced 20 houses to ashes. The fire that started from the house of Bindeshwor Chaudhary had spread to the adjoining houses, destroying property worth Rs 5 million.

Bindeshwor’s son Anand suffered serious burn injuries in the incident. Having lost their houses and other properties to the blaze, the victim families are languishing in the open.

However, days after the fire, the victims said they were left to fend for themselves following the apathy of state authorities in helping them build shelters.

“Though we have some food items like rice, beaten rice and the likes, we don’t have a roof above our heads.

Sadly, the authorities have so far done nothing to help us in this regard,” bemoaned fire victim Asarfi Sada, who is also a former parliamentarian.

Meanwhile, the fire that broke out just a few days ahead of Siruwa festival has spoilt the festive spirit this year.

Siruwa is a festival that is celebrated in the Tarai. “The festival is tomorrow, but celebrations make no sense as we’ve lost everything to the fire” said another victim.