Bajura, October 1
Five of the seven members of the Thapa family of Deusain, Bajura were born with physical disabilities.
Siumal Thapa and his wife Mata Thapa are both deaf and mute. Three of their children are blind. The family has to rely on their two children, daughter Bijaura,14, and son Dhanmal,11, for their livelihood as no other members in the family can work to earn their living.
Siumal said that he and his family members go hungry several days a year as the money earned by the two children is not enough to feed the entire family. “The festival of Dashain is here, but this festival is only a time of joy for the well-to-dos. For our family, it is only a reminder of our poverty and helplessness,” Siumal said.
The family owns a small plot of land, but there is no one to cultivate crops on the field, causing the land to go barren. Even when neighbours help them in their field, the crops last the family only for two months.
“The family is struggling to make ends meet most of the year,” a local said.
The family is mostly living on a meagre social security allowance granted by the government. “If we can convince the village shopkeeper to wait until the family gets the social security allowance, we can get two meals a day,” a family member said.
Sometimes, the family survives on food grains given by sympathetic and kind neighbours.
Though admitted to school, Bijaura and Dhanmal never attend classes because they have the responsibility to carry out household chores. Bijaura is currently admitted in the fourth grade and Dhanmal in the third grade.
The Helping Hand Network, Bajura today handed over Rs 21,300 cash to the family for Dashain celebration.
A version of this article appears in print on October 02, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.