Isolated leper living by Rukum's riverbank for 40 years

RUKUM: A woman infected with leprosy at young age was socially ostracised and forced to live by a riverbank for the past 40 years in fear that she may transmit the disease to others.

Tulasi KC (60) of Banphikot VDC in Rukum has been living on the bank of local Dharne River. After getting infected by leprosy at young age, KC's relatives and villagers built a small thatched hut for her by the river where she has been living since.

KC said that she was infected by leprosy when she was just 13 years of age. She said that although her disease has been cured, the villagers' attitude towards her has not changed. Whenever she visits the village, people flee shouting that a leper has arrived, KC shared her ordeal. That is why she has been living in the hut.

KC is now handicapped, without hands and legs, and with warts all over her body. She begs in the village to make a living on regular basis. The unfortunate woman is bracing the chilly weather without warm clothes and on empty stomach. Although, she lights up a bonfire throughout the night, she cannot sleep during the cold time.

She said that she became handicapped due to shamans treatment since she could not find a place for proper medical treatment and medicines after getting infected by leprosy.

No one allows her inside their residences, and she begs for food by keeping a considerable distance between the village and herself, KC expressed her misery.