Is this poverty or ignorance?


Parashmani Ghimire

Tarka Bahadur Bishunkhe, now 72 had 8 children. 2 of them died at an early age than their teen. Sharmila, the elder daughter, studied up to the primary level. Tarka Bahadur could not afford to educate all of his children, so being responsible to her parents Sharmila left her school.

Sharmila was more beautiful in her teenage, she eloped with Krishna. She was merely 16 when she took the most important decision in her life. Krishna, was also from same village, Taruka, Nuwakot, was also from lower caste like Sharmila. Sarmila and Krishna had studied in same school, although both of them left school after primary level. They were attracted to each other and took their important decision to make their love in reality! It did not take them even a year to become parent of their first son. They were happy with that, it was not easy to earn the bread and butter of their family so Sharmila also started to work as a labour, tiding her son in back.

Sharmila gave birth to her second son when her first son was 14 months of age. Sarmila and Krishna had heard about the contraceptive measures but because of their hesitation to use they were increasing the size of their family. Sarmila became a mother of four children when she was merely 22 years! After four consecutive deliveries, lack of rest, and nutritious food she was really becoming weak and had started to witness negative health consequences. So Sarmila left her work. Now Krishna was only one breadwinner of their family.

Working hard as labor, lack of balanced diet, and family burden, Krishna started to drink as a respite but that made him a drunkard. Krishna became seriously ill, after becoming bedridden for about 6 months, he died. After the demise of her love and breadwinner of the family Sharmila’s world became really dark. Sharmila did not have any other option, So Tarka Bahadur, her father called her into his home with all children. Sarmila used to help her father in his family job of an ironsmith, although she was sick.

Vaikaji Maharajan, a native of Kusunti, Lalitpur used to be a prominent contact person for some children’s homes in Kathmandu valley. He had brought about 25 children from Karnali and many from other districts. Initially, children used to be brought for free education and after some time they (The owner of the Children’s home) used to lure the parents of the children by giving them some money. They used to say to the parents,’ we will send your children to Europe America, for the time being, children will be adopted by foreigners, when they will be older than 18 years old, will return with the money.’ Poor parents were very happy with those sweet words of the owner of the Children’s home! The same had happened in the case of Sharmila also!

Vaikaji had brought some kids of Taruka, their parents had got some money also. Sharmila had heard that, so she also decided to give her two sons for adoption, thinking that, at least her sons could get a good education, live happily and once they will be matured will return with bags full of money! but it did not happen, money which she got from Vaikaji was spent on the removal of her uterus because she was severely ill of uterus al lapses, it had become more than 10 years but Sharmila did not have any information about her two sons. Sarmila’s daughter suffered from diarrhea, they did not take her to health post which was stone throwing distance from their home but she was taken to a local shaman with black cock, finally, she succumbed to diarrhea.

Now Sharmila had only the youngest son with her but he was also mentally impaired! Sharmila was very tired from her life, her health was deteriorating day by day, was sitting very near by his septuagenerian father, looking him working at his Aaran (traditional or local technology, is used to make weapons), she was thinking about her two sons, hoping that they will come very soon with bags full of money and her difficult time will be over.

A bright and red ray of the flame of fire from ‘Aaran’ landed in her leg and she returned to reality and pulled her younger son from there to a safer place!

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