Visit Nepal 2020: The crowd of beggars at the World heritage site Boudhanath Stupa
By phurpa Sherpa, KATHMANDU: A UNESCO World heritage site Boudhanath Stupa is one of the best tourist destination in the Kathmandu valley. However, Boudha Stupa is losing its attraction because of increasing number of beggars day by day.
Though affiliated government bodies are not keen to solve this problems. Increasing number of beggars is not only the main problem of local pilgrimage but also this is headache for international tourists.
Nepalese & foreigners are disturbed by beggars asking money every morning and evening. Mostly, during the festivals (full moon or no moon days) lots of beggars are seen sitting by the premises of BoudhaNath Stupa.
Nepal Government, Ministry of Tourism and BoudhNath area development committee are not serious to solve this problem though ‘The Tourism Year 2020’ is very near. The increase in number of beggars may spread negative message among the tourists which may ultimately affect Nepal’s tourism sector.
Shyam Baniya, owner of handicraft shops, who has been running his business for more than 20 years says, “The number of beggars has been rising day by day, as they are allowed to collect money, fruits from visitors inside Boudha stupa. It’s a serious issue.”
“It is absolutely awful to see those beggars collecting money, foods and fruits from public and throwing wastes anywhere polluting the environment here” shared Baniya, “Not only physically challenged people but also those who are physically fit can be seen begging around. Hence, providing better alternative for their survival may help those to live a normal life.”
Sarmila khadka, a permanent residence of Nuwakot district, has been living nearby Tusal with her 7 years old son. She started begging after her husband’s death for their survival. She has paralysis in her left hand and leg and comes to beg early in the morning from 6:00am to 8:00am. “If government provides some sort of support for our livelihood, People like me won’t have to beg”, she said.
Ranjana BK from Kirtipur lives with her husband and one year old daughter. She is a physically challenged woman who lost her eyesight at the age of 13 due to Typhoid and afterward started begging for livelihood. She also appeals the government for livelihood support to quit begging. With this there are not only physically challenged people but lots of monks are also engaged in begging.
Chandra Man Lama Chairman of Boudhanath Area Development Committee said, “The beggar is a serious issue over the Boudha area. Not only road human, Rudraksha seller (Rudra’s Tear Drops), parking on restricted areas are also major issues. We are trying our best to reduce those problems with the help of different clubs and committees.”
“As visit Nepal 2020 is almost near, we are organizing the meeting with concern authorities to solve this problem. We are also planning to establish tourist help desk for providing information related to Boudhanath Stupa and on duty tourist police have been providing security to them.” Lama said.
Nepal government and Boudhanath Area Development Committee must develop some strategies for everlasting solution. This is a world heritage site and beggars should not be allowed.