Octogenarian struggles to look after herself and visually impaired daughter-in-law

DHADING: An elderly woman has been taking care of herself and her visually impaired daughter-in-law and depends on social security allowance provided by the government to make their ends meet.

The government provides Rs 3,000 per month to Amrit Kumari Adhikari (80) as senior citizens allowance and Rs 2,000 to her daughter-in-law Yam Kumari (50) as disability allowance. That is all they have to meet their ends. They do not have any property or family members they could reach out to when in need.

Amrit Kumari, after losing her husband, took refuge in her maternal home in Simdanda, Gajuri Rural Municipality-5. She took her son Resham Nath Adhikari (Krishna) along with her and had a total of Rs 2,000.

She is the third among eight sisters. The neighbours said, "She looked after her parents as long as she stayed at her maternal home and got her son married to Yam Kumari, who was born visually impaired."

Pictured here are Amrit Kumari Adhikari (80) with her daughter-in-law Yam Kumari (50), in Dhading. Photo: Keshav Adhikari/THT
Pictured here are Amrit Kumari Adhikari (80) with her daughter-in-law Yam Kumari (50), in Dhading. Photo: Keshav Adhikari/THT

Owing to their challenging financial condition, mother and son worked in farms to make a living. Life became more difficult after her son's death within a few years of getting married, said Amrit Kumari with eyes full of tears. What made things worse was that the only child born to Resham Nath and Yam Kumari also passed away after seven days. She recalls the past saying she was happy after the birth of her grandson but that joy did not last long.

Time passed and 21 years ago, Amrit Kumari with her daughter-in-law took shelter near the house of her sister (Ana Kumari) and brother-in-law (Tej Kumar), in Galchhi Rural Municipality-1, after the death of all male members of their family.

Later, the earthquake destroyed the house they were living in. After the sister's house was rebuilt, they were offered a room to live in and are still residing there. Her sister died of heart attack and her husband isn't keeping very well, said Amrit Kumari. The circumstance in which the two women are living is not getting any better, the neighbours said.

"I am not able to cook anymore and it is tough for me to manage other household chores with my eyesight which is getting weak," Amrit Kumari shared her plight, while Yam Kumari added that she could not take care of herself and had no choice but to follow her mother-in-law wherever she goes.

The duo is only left with a handful of rice, few potatoes, two beds, and two quilts to survive on and hardly have any warm clothes to protect themselves from the cold weather. Apart from the government allowance, they do not have any other source of income, explained ward-chair of Galchhi Rural Municipality-1, Purna Prasad Khatiwada.

The constitution guarantees fundamental rights of its citizens and in that light their plights should be addressed by the state. The two women, currently living on very limited resources, are in absolute need of support and have appealed to the public for help.

(Translated by Madhavi Marasini, Edited by Priyanka Adhikari)