A moodiest proposal: Letï¿½s rename Humla as Hungryla!
You may start thinking that I am crazy. But I assure you that my proposal, although moody, is based on the best reasoning my brain has ever produced. Yet, the reasoning for keeping an English name is that it starts from H, so the district wonï¿½t lose its dignity, otherwise I could have proposed Bhok or Bhoko, and also to make it easier for foreigners and donors to understand.
Each and every year, news about scarcity of food in the remotest mountainous district inundates the capital. The district, everyone knows, has no proper facility of electricity or communication or transportation; yet the news keeps on pouring as if the people there have no other news to write.
People in that district are really hungry, as the land has no fertility at all, (probably the women are more fertile than needed). They need more food every year, they ask to increase the quota of it every year. The government has no time to look after it. It is understandable, as they are most of the time busy trying to satisfy the opponents. If they are not busy that way, then what stops them from caring about these semi-nude people? After all, they wonï¿½t come down to road to protest (since there is no road in the district).
The helpless faces of the people there could have been a major source of income if a mushroom NGO could have reached there, if it was easily accessible.
I have never visited the district, yet I understand the people there and around suffer more than anybody else has in the country. The unfertile land, the rugged terrain, the lack of transportation, job opportunities, health care centres that have no medicines even for common fever (or even if it has, no one to recognise what medicine is used for what kind of disease!) and poverty are what they all have.
The district always wants more food to satisfy the hunger of its residents, but the centre believes that the people can live without it. They demand quick food, but the centre takes months to decide, and people come walking three-day for the 5-kg ration, but the depots have to return them due to lack of food.
When a tiger is approaching you, you never think of picking up the food two feet away to feed your hungry children back at home. When the government sees the opponents approaching with slogans, they have no time to be humanitarian. If you want to call the leaders un-humanitarian, you can.
I believe the district should be renamed so that each time anyone mentions it, the centre and any potential donor would know they are hungry, may this change the luck of the district. The name will also truly reflect the districtï¿½s speciality.
A scientific dilemma for me. When people remain hungry for a long time, they became thin. Why that doesnï¿½t happen to a district? I wondered for a long time and came to another moodiest conclusion, which the scientists may disqualify but intellectuals, real or groomed at teashops, may find a bit of truth. I say so because it doesnï¿½t lie on the border of our great neighbour India.
Districts in close proximity with our three-speared southern neighbour, all are not hungry tough, are becoming thin and thin by inches or kilometres. But letï¿½s not call our neighbour an encroacher.
Published in The Kathmandu Post on 19 May, 2003