Dhading, March 12

Six-year-old Om Maya Mijar of Tinghare, Nilkantha Municipality in Dhading has been battling malnutrition from birth.

Om Maya is Juthi Mijar’s third daughter. She is both underweight and much shorter in stature than is normal for her age. She cannot sit or walk properly.

Juthi, 26, has five children, and is currently pregnant. All her children are malnourished.

Tinghare is a half-hour’s walk from district headquarters Dhadingbesi. The Mijar family cannot afford to take their children to a hospital for treatment. Juthi said that with very little food, the family has only  one meal a day.

Local social worker Maya Nath Nepal said the Dalit community in Tinghare has been reeling under acute shortage of food.

More than 100 children in the district are malnourished, most belonging to Dalit and Chepang communities. Although the government and various non-government organisations have reportedly launched nutrition programmes here, no results have been reported.

According to District Health Office, Dhading, in a survey among 28,682 children, most were found to be malnourished in varying degrees. The DHO said that shelters have been established to treat severe malnutrition in 11 places, and mild malnutrition in 32 places in the district.