Quake victim who lost his arm but not hope

Barpak (Gorkha), April 30

He was buried under the rubble when the devastating April 25 earthquake last year brought down his house. His family members pulled him out of the rubble hours later.

Although he lost his limb, he didn’t lose hope. Sukaram Gurung of Gorkha, Barpak-4 now runs a tea shop in his village. “The deadly quake just two days before I would go to Kathmandu to fly abroad shattered my dreams,” lamented Sukaram.

After he was rescued from the rubble, he was rushed to Gandaki Hospital of Pokhara. There he was referred to Kathmandu for treatment. “The doctors in the capital told that I would live only if my left arm was amputated. I thought for a while and concluded it was better to live without an arm than die,” he said.

After returning to the village, he started working as a daily wage labourer. “But soon people stopped giving me work citing my physical disability, which only added to my financial problems,” said Sukaram, who still owes Rs 300,000 he had borrowed for treatment.

“It was a difficult time for me as I have a 10-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. But I never gave up,” shared the 34-year old. He has been running a tea shop in a rented room for the past six months.

“Everything is going well as I’m earning for my family from the shop now,” said Sukaram, adding, “My wife Maya is helping me a lot to run this shop. I am now planning to run a lodge here.” He also informed that with the income from his tea shop, he was now able to send his children to a private school.

“I think I wouldn’t have been what I am today had I depended on the government,” he said, adding he had so far received only Rs 25,000 in relief from the government to build a temporary shelter and buy warm clothes for winter.

As many as 72 people were killed and 350 injured in the April 25 earthquake in Barpak last year.