BAGLUNG, Feb 19: Although the country has undergone several significant political changes since the cessation of the Maoist insurgency, the wounds of war remain literally unhealed.
One such wound, that has elicited no government concern, is that of Man Bahadur Gharti, 28, of Tara VDC-7, who has been living with a bullet lodged inside his foot for a decade now.
Unable to pay for surgery, then assistant Maoist commander Gharti is going from pillar to post to seek cure. The bullet stuck inside his right foot can easily be felt with a light touch.
"During the war, I sneaked into India for treatment but the bullet was never taken out. The wound is giving me a hard time," said Gharti. He was wounded during the Nepal Army-Maoist encounter in Bhaluwang on October 12, 2003.
Gharti, who has reached Manipal Teaching Hospital in Pokhara, says he will need around Rs 100,000 for his treatment. "I had hoped my party leaders would come to my rescue following the peace process and their entry into government but they didn´t," said Gharti.
Doctors have recommended to Gharti to undergo surgery as soon as possible. Concerned about his worsening condition, he had filed for free medical treatment but there has been no affirmative response to date.
"Sometimes I fear this may develop into a cancer if I don´t have surgery," said Gharti, adding, "Every time I reach the district administration office, they tell me to come some other day. They shy away saying the process in under way," said Gharti.
Chairperson of Satkarma Nepal Sarita Ram Thapa informed that there are four more like Gharti, who have been wandering helplessly with bullets lodged inside their bodies. "Some have developed paralysis after being unable to receive medical care," said Thapa.
Gharti also said that his brother Bajendra was disappeared by the army during the insurgency“.