Reaching the Bhutanese refugee camp in deserted Jhapa, an endangered Lepcha settlement

Jhapa district is full of geography and natural beauty, where there are beautiful places. Jhapa’s Budhabare is famous for its betel nut production. It is full of betel nut plants all around. Arecanut cultivation is a cash crop with little effort but high yield. Also, the houses in the middle of the greenery are a pleasant settlement. The beautiful tea garden in Berne looks beautiful in itself. On top of that, you can easily see the Siris flowers blooming along the road and the hills of Ilam up to Tandhatandha. These places are really fun.

At one time, there was a refugee camp in Jhapa called Tinai. Currently, the place is deserted as the refugees have gone elsewhere. A monastery is currently under construction at the site, which is home to more than 10,000 Bhutanese refugees. Since 1990, the Bhutanese government has been expelling Nepalis of Nepali origin by depriving them of their citizenship. The Bhutanese government had stopped teaching Nepali language. At the same time, the citizens of Nepali origin had raised their voices to protect their existence after implementing the compulsory policy of using Bhutanese nutrients. But the Bhutanese government began cracking down on protesters, accusing them of treason and forcing them to flee. Thousands of Nepali nationals who had fled Bhutan had lost their lives on the way. They had come to seek refuge on Nepali soil after India, between Bhutan and Nepal, refused to grant them asylum. In this way, the refugees living in the Tinai camp in Jhapa have been taken as their citizens by different countries. But the flowers they planted in the yard are still blooming. Not only this, the temples, monasteries and churches built by the refugees in the camps are still standing here. How memorable is the Tinai camp where the refugees have lived for ten years, living a life of hardship and embracing one another.

There are many interesting places on the journey from Budhabare in Jhapa to Lepchagaun in Ilam. Lepcha Basti can be reached by trekking to scenic places like Shantinagar, Thutebar, Jor Sanghu, Irotar Morchunga Bazaar. About 4,000 Lepchas in Nepal have been listed as endangered by the Government of Nepal. Even though the population is small, this caste has its own language, culture, tradition and dress.

Only a short time ago, the script of this caste has been written down. There are 8 houses of Lepcha caste in Malbase of Ilam. This caste lives only in the lower part of the eastern district of Ilam in Nepal. Lepcha settlement is found near Jiram, Malbase and Kanyam of Ilam. According to the tradition of this caste, marital relations are held only within one’s own caste. The new generations, on the other hand, say that the old traditions need to be modified.

Leave a Reply