Dolakha, January 6
Health condition of disabled children in the Tamang settlement at Babiyodanda in Gaurishankar Rural Municipality-8 of Dolakha is deteriorating for want of treatment.
A case in point: Seventeen-year-old Shital Tamang who had physical disability lost his life just a few days ago due to lack of treatment. His brother Suman, 14, cannot walk.
According to Suman’s father Dhan Bahadur Tamang, most of the kids in the settlement are physically challenged. “No one likes to see their kids die but as we can’t afford the expensive treatment, there is no option but to see them perish in front of our very eyes,” he lamented.
His sons were born healthy, but as they grew up, their limbs shrunk, rendering them incapable to move, eventually. Shital attended school up to Grade 1 before he dropped out due to his physical condition, for good.
“I don’t feel good when I see my parents suffering because of me. I had a brother who was my companion, but after he passed away, I have nobody to talk to,” bemoaned Suman, adding that he had lost all his hope to ever be able to live a normal life.
“As my family is poor and there is no hope of getting financial assistance, I think I will meet the same fate that my brother did,” he said. His hapless father Dhan Bahadur shared that he couldn’t afford to take his disabled sons to the Capital for treatment. “I took them to as far as Charikot (the district headquarters) and that’s all. As one has already died, I don’t know how long this second son of mine will survive,” he said.
In the same settlement, Pramila Tamang’s two-year-old son Pem Dorje, Dadhimai Tamang’s 4-year-old daughter Sunapati and Devika Tamang’s seven-year-old daughter Phulmaya have physical disability. They all can’t walk .
Similarly, Takta Bahadur Tamang’s 9-year-old son Sukaman, Sange Tamang’s 15-year-old son Amrit are hearing-impaired. The two, however, are attending school, according to their parents.
Ward No 8 chair Udaya Khadka called upon the government to launch a special programme to address the disability scourge seen in the Tamang settlement. “As ward chair, I will do what I can. I will coordinate with concerned government and non-government agencies and organisations to ensure that these disabled children get state facilities they are entitled to,” he vowed.
The settlement has a total of 10 kids and two elderly people with disability of one form or another, currently.
A version of this article appears in print on January 07, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.