By Benai Chettri
Rungmook — Selena Gurung is a middle aged woman and a tea garden worker from the Rungmook tea estate who earns her livelihood as daily wage earner. She survived 104 days strike caused by Gorkhaland agitation without starvation.
Recalling the hardships of the bandh days, Mrs. Gurung says, “The residents of Rungmook had sufficient provisions to manage their daily needs.”
She did not hesitate to add, “fortunately no children had to die on account of malnutrition as in some other places of the hills.”
However, Mrs. Gurung along with other citizens had some hard days to cope with when they did not get the relief material in time.
She says, “God- sent people and Salesian College Fathers and some members of NGOs made their life easier.”
Mrs. Gurung expressed her misfortune several times when she did not get the little bit of ration after having walked for two hours from Rungmook to Sonada. Then, looking into the situations, her family and others too decided to go towards Siliguri during night hours just to get the basic needs.
She also recalls happily, “gone are those days with full of challenges which me and my family survived along with other villagers of Rungmook tea estate.