ARTIST – NIRIT OVADIA
PHOTOGRAPHY – SUSANA LOPEZ
INTERVIEW – BHUWAN ROKKA
TRANSLATOR – UTSAV PRADHAN
Santosh lost his family and home during the earthquake and lived for over a year in a shelter that he built from recovered materials.During that year,Pariyar faced many difficulties, including the birth of a child. Help finally arrived when they were introduced to John from a long-term recovery organization, Micro-Aid International.
When our father died, none of us had jobs. We didn’t know how to work. I went abroad twice; one time to Malaysia and once to Oman but I didn’t make money. It was hard. I came back and we were working here but that was only enough for food. I did whatever I could, I did tailoring, I was laborer….I worked in one leather factory before the earthquake and they were paying me Rs.10,000. It was very hard to cover our home expenses so my brother went to Qatar and he got stuck. We thought that was good work but they placed him in a supply company. He did come back after three months.
Our father was sick so we sold some land to get him treatment but we are discriminated against because we are poor and of Dalit caste. Somehow, we were able to make a hut from parts of our destroyed house and lived there for two years. Then John came here and Manisha Bhauju [sister-in-law] brought him here and introduced us. He said you are suffering a lot and I can see how hard it is for you so I will try to help you to build your house and he did.
We knew we had to build a house but we couldn’t. Once we got a home we could work to arrange food and we are.
What John did was, he checked our living condition. He found that we don’t have any income and didn’t immediately start to construct. He visited our neighbors and found out that we are like this and that. After that, he physically came to build our home from 10 in the morning to 4-5 everyday. He would come, watch and monitor.
In my opinion, the way you should choose whom to help is by checking who are they and what is their economic condition first and ours is…some people they built their home by selling their other land, but we don’t have land to sell. If we sell this land, where we will go to build?