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Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta’s house remains neglected

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 13, 2009


POKHARA, July 12: He is remembered every year on his birthday, and this year is no exception with celebrations expected throughout the country and abroad on Monday for the 196th anniversary of his birth. But the birthplace of Adi Kavi (First Poet) Bhanubhakta Acharya, in Chundi Ramgha, Tanahun, remains neglected. Only the ruins of the house made of soil and stone remain in the midst of a jungle, and many thorny plants have grown wild within.

The house was repaired nine years ago for the filming of Adi Kavi Bhanubhakta, a feature film made with the help from the Bhanu Birth Place Development Committee, but has not been renovated since, even after a fire completely burnt the thatched-roof structure four years later.

A road laid with stones was constructed at a cost of Rs 500,000 four years ago to reach the house, but it has since been covered by sand brought by floods. Also, a two-story six-room concrete building has been constructed two kilometers away.

Remains of the house Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta

Remains of the house of Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta

Even the committee has done nothing to conserve the historic house where the great poet was born on Ashadh 29, 1871. “We have not been able to conserve the house due to the lack of funds,” says president of the committee Balaram Dhakal. He says the government slashed the budget of Rs 1.8 million allotted till the fiscal year 2064/65 to just Rs 300,000 last year which is no longer sufficient to even pay employee salaries.

“We asked for additional funds but the government didn´t comply. So, we have not been able to do anything about it though we want to,” adds Dhakal.

The committee has an executive director, an accountant, a junior assistant and two peons, who draw a combined salary of Rs 625,000 per year. “They have not received their salary since Chaitra and can only be paid if the government allocates additional funds in this year´s budget,” Dhakal says.

The committee has demanded Rs five million in the coming budget for the renovation of the house, construction of a road to the house and other physical infrastructure, executive director Pratap Malla revealed.

Malla slammed the government for neglecting the conservation of Bhanu´s works and birthplace.

The relatives of Bhanubhakta are worried that the poet who preached the welfare of people has himself been left untended. “They (the government) just complete the formality by remembering him on his birthday,” rues Shreebhakta Acharya, a fifth-generation descendant of Bhanubhakta. “We have pleaded for the conservation of his birthplace for years but to no avail.”

Acharya also slammed the committee for not celebrating Bhanubhakta´s birthday with the grandeur of yore. “At this rate they will stop celebrating his birthday altogether in a few years,” Acharya predicts. He blames political instability for the lackadaisical attitude towards conserving the house.


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