Dabal Bahadur Malla is one of the 14-15 Mugalis who have travelled the distance of 5 days to reach Talcha in Rara VDC from their village Dhaina VDC to fetch rice to feed their family. As a part of the "Food for Work" program run by WFP, they contribute their labor (one person from a family) in road construction in the Mugu-Jumla section, where they get 4 kgs of rice for one day's work. Almost all the VDC is turning up to receive the rice, with a long caravan of goats and mules; some combining as much as 1200 goats. On their trip to Mugu, they bring millet, bean seeds, buckwheat to sell them on the way.
They have 120 goats with them which are used to carry the small packages of rice (seen in the background).
I visited their camp in the evening to share some medicine as I heard some of the elderly members are sick. They offered us their roti… and it was delicious.
Mugu is approximately at 571kms air distance from Kathmandu. This district is still inaccessible by road network; the closest station to be reached by road is Khalanga of Jumla, which is still 817kms from the capital city, and it takes approximately 3 days walk to Rara from Jumla. Mugu is one of the districts severely affected by food scarcity and hence the livelyhood is very difficult in this region. Mugu can be reached via plane/helicopter from Nepalgunj or Surkhet.