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23 July 2015, life in Nepal

23 July 2015, life in Nepal

Thirty-one-year-old Kuma- rimaya Chepang of Tapang in Lothar-4 of Chitwan gave birth to her seventh child one and a half months ago. It was the first time she delivered her daughter in a hospital.

Kumarimaya went into labour on May 25 but as she could not deliver the baby she had to be rushed to the hospital. Local leader Ram Bahadur Chepang, 72, lent Rs 25,000 to Kumari’s husband Tumpiram, who works as a coolie, for taking her to a hospital in Bharatpur.

“The treatment was very expensive,” Tumpiram said. “We could not meet the expenses even after selling two goats and two pigs.” Having sold his entire property, the family is still in Rs 50,000 debt. On top of that, they even have nothing left to eat and their corn farm was destroyed by a recent hailstorm.

Leaving their newborn at home in care of their four-year-old daughter Kailimaya, both Kumari and Tumpiram work as day labourers to make ends meet. Their other children Sujan, 6, Suresh, 8, Chameli, 13, and Kamala, 15, also accompany their parents to help them at work. All their income goes into buying corn flour from which they cook dhido. Like Kumarimaya, 29-year-old Belimaya Chepang of Gopirang in Namtar-9, Makwanpur, also works as a day labourer is the sole breadwinner for her family of five. She is eight months pregnant and even bleeds from her mouth. But without working all day, her family will go hungry.

Belimaya’s husband Shivaram has been bedridden for over a year due to paralysis. They have one daughter and two sons aged between four and 11. But they are out of school as they do not even have food to eat and clothes to wear. Belimaya’s child is due this month but she works in the field all day long.

“If I don’t work in the field, my family will go hungry,” Belimaya said. The family survives on plant leaves on days she does not find work. They have no land of their own and after her husband’s illness, Belimaya has been shouldering all responsibilities. She has not been able to repay the Rs10,000 loan taken out for her husband’s treatment.

The family lives in a shack. Due to malnutrition, 25-year-old Belimaya looks like 40. The bleeding from her mouth was not cured despite taking medicines prescribed by health worker at a local health post.

From the media: E-kantipur

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