Mugu, November 9
Kalpana Sanjal, like many others in Hynglu-6, Mugu returned to work in the fields, just over a week after she delivered her baby.
As formula feeding is unheard of in these parts, she fully breastfeeds her child which tires her out even more. Her husband in the meantime drinks liquor and plays cards at the local tea shops all day long.
“As is the custom, males in our village hardly work. It’s us who have to do their part of job to make a living. How we manage to do the work and attend to our babies does not matter to anyone,” she lamented.
Kalpana complained that her poor health was due to the lack of sufficient rest and nutritious food after she delivered her baby.
Laxmi Sanjal of the same village shares a similar plight. Married into her farmer husband’s family about 16 years ago, she toils in the field all day. “My husband comes home heavily drunk in the evenings, while I work the whole day in the field.
Sometimes under the influence he assaults me physically, complaining of a bad meal or sometimes for some other reasons,” she bemoaned.
Sadly enough, the plight of Mugu women is not unique and in fact, the female population in districts such as Humla, Jumla, Kalikot and Dolpa face similar fates.
The same women subject to hard work throughout the year do not have enough to eat which further leaves them vulnerable to different diseases, thanks to the intermittent food crisis that is common in these remote parts of the country.
Dhanshobha Rokaya of Humla is said to have suffered a uterus prolapse, which she attributes to lack of rest during her perinatal phase.
Mugu’s Seri Health Post Assistant Nursing Midwife Kamala Baniya said it was natural for women to suffer from health complications if they overly exerted themselves during and post pregnancy.
A version of this article appears in print on November 10, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.