Indefinite Blockage

Nepal is an extraordinarily surprising country. It doesn’t matter how long you stay here, it will not let you spend even a day without a “small” fright, draw a smile on your face, wonder you with something unexpected; surprise you with something you had not expected and it will change anything you, naively, planned the day before. We perpetually live in the “fools’ day”.

A few weeks ago Nepal parliament approved a constitution that had been praying for years. It’s not easy to agree with anything in a country so diverse in culture, religion, languages ​​and idiosyncrasies. A country where the caste system is still very present, where arranged marriages by parents are the norm, where there are over a hundred different languages ​, faces with varied factions, people who want a communist or Hindu or liberal or federal country… But parliament approved the constitution, and in many regions people lit candles to celebrate it and even threw firecrackers.

But in “Terai” in the southern part of the country, the plane lands that borders with India, where mainly Tharu or Chhaudari people live were not so happy. They were pushing for weeks with strikes so that Nepal was not divided into seven provinces dividing Terai.

We woke up one day in the morning, and we heard that India had declared a trade blockage to Nepal, borders are closed! We do not understand anything. We asked the reasons: “India does not like the new constitution of Nepal because they are jealous that we have a better constitution than theirs” some people say… Others say “In the Nepalese parliament there are twenty parliamentarians who are Indians and have asked for help to their friends.” Surreal… But people was saying that in a couple of days this would be solved…

We wake up one day and read in the newspaper that the Nepalese parliament created a commission with the leaders of the three main parties for dialogue with the political leaders of the Terai to unblock the situation. What? We thought it was a blockage done by India?

People keep saying it is India’s fault (and the fault of all the politicians, who are all corrupt…). They say that in a few days Nepal will start importing everything from China, if India does not stop with the blockage…

Some days later no one is talking about an early solution anymore… Now it is very difficult to find petrol, taxi drivers are days queuing for ten liters of gasoline. We can not find cooking gas, people cook with firewood again (even in cities)… many restaurants have closed, others have adapted and reduced their menu…

How will the situation evolve? How will rice be brought to the cities and towns without petrol? How long will this situation last? Will they open the borders, at least temporally for big holidays of Dashain? Anything we can guess, predict, think… sure it will not happen, or it will… Nepal is an extraordinarily surprising country.

Summit, in the Children’s Home of Bhimphedi, with a pipe for the fire. Sumit always needs some invention in his hands otherwise he feels uneasy…
Sumit watching the vegetables are being well cooked in the fire.
Maya, the wonderful staff of Bhimphedi Children’s Home, cooking delicious food, whatever the circumstances.
Whatever you do in the Bhimphedi Children’s Home, you are never alone, always there are helping hands, or at least some eyes watching.
One of the main roads of Pokhara (Nepal’s second largest city). Not a drop of petrol, not even a car…
In Pokhara these days you can only see bicycles on the roads, only occasionally you can see a car for tourists.


The few buses you can find are crowded inside, with people hanging on the doors or sitting on the roof.
Many petrol pumps are closed, with many vehicles parked hoping someday some petrol will be available.
While gas stations are closed, roads are empty of cars.
A service station in the neighborhood of Naxal Kathmandu guarded by police. Lots of taxi drivers waiting, asking when some petrol will be distributed. It’s 10 am, and police says the petrol pump will not open until 3pm.
Endless queues of taxis. After about two days queuing taxis can get, with luck, their “ration” of petrol that will last for a day of work. Many drivers end up buying gasoline on the black market, paying about 4 € a liter, about 4 times more expensive than the price at the pump.
These are not parked cars. It is an eternal taxi queue that starts at some petrol station that provides, for an hour a day, fuel for the taxis.
These are not parked bikes. It is an eternal bike queue that starts at some petrol station that provides, for an hour a day, fuel for the bikes.
The newspapers are full of news about the consequences of the blockade. But none about the causes of the situation.
There are also news about the actions of dialogue being carried out by government. But few conclusions…