No tax elaspe by Robic Upadhayay

Photo: Robic Upadhayay/

NO TAX ELASPE: On the last day to pay taxes, the Inland Revenue Office in Pulchowk, Lalitpur was in full swing The office was crowded and disorganized. A bottle of hand sanitizer here, few people with masks there, and not much social distancing. What was most worrisome was that the service seekers were licking their stamps and sticking them on their application forms.

The wait was long, and I didn’t want to fiddle with my phone, so I walked around to explore. That is when I met Jamuna Thapa, 43 in a quiet corner of the office compound with deposit vouchers and a token on her hand, waiting for her turn. “It’s scary to be in that crowd of people, you never know who is infected. I have my family at home, I don’t want to take the virus with me,” Thapa told me.

Jamuna runs a photo studio in Manbhawan, Lalitpur and was hoping that the government would extend tax submission during the pandemic, but that did not happen. There hasn’t been much business lately as photo studio is a non-essential service. Thapa supports her husband, son and in-laws and worries that the studio may have to shut down and the financial loss they suffered during the lockdown will never be recovered.

Photos and Text: Robic Upadhyay @aerawbic

Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness

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