Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai the other day laid the foundation stone of the Ganatantrik Smarak (Republican Monument) in the premises of the Narayanhity Palace Museum saying that the monument would be an immortal reminiscence of the struggle of the people in 2006 popular uprising in Nepal. The decision to construct the monument is a praiseworthy initiative of the government which would pay a rich tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the establishment of republican democracy in the country. But more important is to realize the cause for which the martyrs laid down their life.
Similarly, there are many people who were injured during the movements and they are no win difficult condition for various reasons. They are the living martyrs who need support from the state.
The story of families of the martyrs is also pathetic and they also are in need of support. Thus, it would do well if the state pays due attention to provide necessary support to the families of the martyrs and also those who were injured during the people’s movement for democracy. The government has taken some initiatives to develop a mechanism to support the families of the martyrs and also those who were injured in the movements. A separate committee has been formed for the purpose of effectively coordinating the support and rehabilitation of the injured and families of the martyrs. This shows that the government is serious and sincere in recognizing the sacrifice of the martyrs and helping their families. But there are complaints that the efforts of the government are more perfunctory.
Sometimes ago, the civil society had undertaken the initiative to collect fund to support those who were injured during the mass movement for democracy. A separate fund had also been established for this purpose and a huge amount poured in the fund from individuals and organizations. But those efforts were not given continuity. Some of the families lost their breadwinners and some who got injured are disabled and some have not been able to pay the bills of their treatment. While employment and income-generating opportunities are required for the families of the martyrs, special care is needed for the injured and disabled people as they have gone through a physical as well as psychological trauma. The other concrete way to support the families of the martyrs is to provide free and meaningful education to the children of the martyrs and injured people. Although the efforts of the government are praiseworthy, they are not sufficient. This is a national and humanitarian cause for which strong coordination and cooperation among the government, private sector and civil society is highly recommended which would better work to support and rehabilitate the families of the martyrs and those who were injured during the movement. This would be the best tributes to the martyrs.