Chandra Kala Khawas
Chandra Kala Khawas is a 35-year-old lady with physical disability who suffered from Hansen’s disease / Leprosy when she was a young child. She was treated in Koshi Zonal Hospital long ago, but has just undergone a surgery at Anandaban Hospital due to relapse and ulcer. She cannot speak properly and is always hesitant to strangers. She even couldn’t walk before surgery; now she can walk clumsily. She lives in the family that consists of her parents, brother, 2 sisters, brother-in-law and 2 young children (total 9 members). The Khawas live away from other neighbours. Her father is old who has also physical disability. Her youngest sister is also a person with physical disability. Her younger brother, Aasik Khawas, was an only educated person who, all of a sudden, had mental disability at the age of 20 while pursuing his studies in the 10th grade at school. He had a dream of serving his family after earning from going abroad. Sadly, he has been missing for 6 years now-no one knows about his whereabouts.
The family relies on the little earnings of the brother-in-law who earns as a driver and the allowance paid to the disabled by the Ward Office. IDEA Nepal intervened the family with relief distribution with which they were able to survive during the lockdown. In addition to that, IDEA Nepal also supported the family with seed money to start a micro business from which they were expected to have a little yet continuous income. However, the flash flood on 19 October 2021 badly affected the shelter made of bamboo and mud. The hut has been dilapidated badly and none knows when it’s going to collapse. The roof leaks. Neither is it able to block the blows of strong wind. The flood swept away a goat and the crops they had saved for food. The Khawas are looking for some relief and a permanent house in tears.
Pramesh Chaudhary, a person having personal experience of Hansen’s disease is 34 years old now. He has a small family of 4 members. Pramesh is the breadwinner of the family who works as a construction labourer. The Chaudharys were in a big trouble when Pramesh was diagnosed with Hansen’s disease/ leprosy at the age of 21. During the hospital stay for treatment, he got introduced with a lady in the hospital who was also undergoing treatment for the same disease. They married upon discharge from hospital. However, they were not heartily welcomed by the community due to the stigma related to the disease.
The Chaudharys had 2 sons soon thereafter. Everything is normal about the eldest one, but the youngest one was born with Cleft Palate and lip. On top of that, they had to go through a crisis as Pramesh had nowhere to go for earing due to closure of workplaces during the lockdown in Nepal. Things were just settling, while the flash flood on October 19, 2021 completely destroyed their shelter-this has added a big trouble to the Chaudarys.
They had to refuse at their relative’s house for 4 days until the flood subsided. They are currently living in severe condition as the flood has submerged their home, swept away their clothing, pottery and food grains. Pramesh wanders around for wage earning to support his family.
Budhiganga Rural Municipality
Sudha Kamat is a 39-year-old woman who has experienced Hansen’s disease/ leprosy. She lives in Budhiganga Rural Municipality with her family. Her family consists of her husband and 2 sons. She was diagnosed with Hansen’s disease 8 years ago. Sadly, the disease was transmitted to both her sons in 2 years’ time.
The Kamat entirely relied on daily wages. Due to the disease they had to suffer from discrimination and rejection from the community while they badly fell in economic crisis. IDEA Nepal field coordinator heard of them, paid a visit in person and reported the Executive Board. Then, IDEA Nepal intervened the Kamat with relief distribution as well as scholarship and seed money. With the supports, the Kamats’ sons are pursuing their school education at ease and the family has started a micro business with the seed money. Things were getting better and better in the family. All of a sudden, a flash flood hit the Kamats on October 19, 2021 at night. The flood has swept the peaceful environment of the family. Their home was submerged and were compelled to live in a tent for 4 days.
The flood swept 1 goat and all the crops and grains that would be adequate for 1 month for the family. They are currently sheltering in the same house as the flood has already subsided. The family is in debt now as they had no choice to arrange food for the family.
The Kamats are looking for the support to build a permanent house.
Ms. Parbati Tharu
Parbati Tharu, a lady who had experienced Hansen’s disease, aged 40 is currently residing at Nepalgunj (Province No. 5) in a rental house in the urban area with her husband and a 2.5-year-old daughter, her first child. They aref residing there for the opportunities of wages. Parbati was born in India as her parents were settled there due to their job in India itself although there were from Nepal. She has faint memories of her father as he died when she was a child. She’s been away from her family since she was 13 when she fled with a boy around her age. This was her first marriage.
At the age of 18, she had symptoms of Hansen’s disease (leprosy), but she didn’t realize what they were. She was taken to a medical facility nearby from where she was referred to Green Pasture Hospital in Pokhara.
She went under medication for around 8 years due to reactions-she recalls how terrible pains she bore in the hospital bed those days! For some years, she had been able to hide her medical condition to her family except for her husband.
Her husband always took her side and never discriminated. However, from the very day her family learnt that she had leprosy, they started discriminating her. They would not allow her share utensils at home. No one would come close to her nor they would let her go close to them. They even tried to convince her husband to abandon her. Lucky she, that her husband was always positive to her-he knew it was just a disease which was already cured. However, misfortune kept trailing her-her husband, her only loving person on the planet, got paralyzed, never cured and died! She was alone now!
Still, her medical complications were visible, and on an occasion, she came to contact of The Leprosy Mission Nepal. She then came to Anandaban Hospital operated by TLM Nepal where she got her medication for reactions. She looks OK, today but her limbs are weaker-she can’t work, just stays home and takes care of her baby. Her husband works as a labourer at construction sites and is only bread winner in the family. Due to lockdown, their condition was pitiful as her husband had been jobless for over a year. On top of that, she got infected of COVID-19 and was taken to isolation ward. She was given free food there, but needed money for medical examinations and medicine etc. Right then, she had a call from Parbati Oli, former President of IDEA Nepal who had communicated with Amar at IDEA Nepal about her condition. No sooner had IDEA Nepal team learnt about her needs, Amar contacted Bhaskar Adhikari, central board member, who lives nearby her and requested him for her need assessment. Then she was addressed with relief package as well as cash support of NPR 10,000.00. The relief was life saver for the family while the cash support greatly helped her fight COVID-19. She states, “Many thanks to the ones with golden hearts, who offered us food and money at this great difficulty-while we had nothing to eat and nowhere to go to seek for support.” She states that she spent the money on buying fruits, vegetables and medicine. Her husband and herself, both are very happy with the support. She had not expected that someone would reach them with such wonderful gifts! Now, she knows that the supports were sent to her by Nepra e. V, Germany and brought to her by IDEA Nepal. She’s very thankful for these supports. She further states, “Nepra e. V, Germany and IDEA Nepal are like my parents’ home who take care of me in difficulties as I am away from my parental abode for a long time.”