Creating child-friendly spaces
The absence of Dharhara is most visible from the expansive grounds of Tundikhel, where a number of tents stand erected in the aftermath of the Great Quake and the children living in the makeshift tents are quick to notice the missing monument.
Earlier in the day, a group of volunteers had held a ‘drawing session’ for the children at the camps; they could draw whatever they wanted, they were told. Most of the children drew the Dharhara- broken and scattered—a symbol of the shake that rattled the nation.
The art session was carried out at a ‘child-friendly space’ created in Tundikhel where children from families taking refuge in the open space can come and indulge in activities. These camps act as makeshift schools where children , sing, play draw—things they’d do on a normal basis.
According to UNICEF, there are 38 such places in 5 districts—Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavre and Dhading—most of which are within the valley. The ‘child protection cluster’ which consists of government and non-government organization has plans to open up more such areas in the other affected districts as well. Unicef has stated that over one million children have been affected by the earthquake and are in need of humanitarian assistance.