Asia-Pacific, Nepal, Human Rights

Nepal: Where People Can’t Afford to Survive

My friends and I were coming back from shopping. Just half an hour earlier, we bought blazers, leather jackets and long necks. I was particularly happy as it was the first time I had bought something with money that I’ve earned.

After the shopping, we were going to get some sweets and desserts for our families as our day plan was on schedule, and we wanted to share the happiness with them. We were on bike and as we reached Tripureshwor, we saw a woman, sitting in the middle of the road, at the busiest time of the day. The women was resting in the middle of the road with a child on her lap. Nobody was even trying to find out if she had a problem, knowing that she was the reason the road was looking messy and had a lot of traffic. My friends and I decided to find out what the problem was exactly, so we parked the bike on the right side of the road and went to see her.

The child was crying and seemed really sick, so we asked the woman, most likely her mother, what was the problem with the child. She replied that the child was sick. We tried to convince her to rest somewhere in the resting area, that was at the edge of the road. She refused at first but as more people came to see us and try to convince her, she finally stood up and we helped her as well as the child to get on the resting area. When we asked her what was the exact issue with the child, what she replied to us touched our hearts.

She said “The child has not eaten in days”. We were stunned and genuinely moved, so we gave her some money so she could buy enough food for her and her child to survive for some days. Then others also volunteered and gave some more. That day, after what we did she probably had money to survive for at least a week.

Now the problem is not only with that particular women and her child. There are countless of others who don’t have food to survive and a shelter to live in. They roam the streets and when the night comes, they rest on the side of the road. It’s been a very cold winter so far and there are hundreds of people who don’t even have a blanket to cover themselves up at the night. They beg all day and what they get from others is not even sufficient for them to eat enough to fill their stomach.

While there are many organisations that have been helping such people in the streets to settle their lives by providing them jobs and a place to live in, but they can’t look after all of them, it’s practically impossible. How would a person, who’s missing a leg since childbirth and has never had a job learn to work at the age when they doesn’t have much more to live. Those who have a healthy physical body have been uplifted in a large number but still there are possibly even thousands of them, who don’t have a properly functioning body. How can they even work and how can they survive the way they need to?

While people write to give solutions to the problems that the world has been facing, I feel sad as I can’t find the solution to this. We probably can’t get them all out of the streets and give them the life they deserve. “Give a man a fish and he will feed for the day, but teach a man how to fish and he feeds himself for a lifetime”. This situations doesn’t favour the teaching part as they have never done it and they don’t have the means to do it anyway.

What we can do is spread the word about people living in such conditions, so that everyone knows there are people who don’t even have money to eat and shelter to rest in. Even in a country like Nepal, there are people who don’t know there are people who live in the streets. All we can do is let people know that a lot of them are still living in extreme poverty and hope that some day, people will emerge to put efforts into solving the problems their country and the world is facing.

We should always count ourselves lucky and be happy that we have a life with our basic needs fulfilled. There are people who haven’t slept for days due to cold, have not eaten due to lack of money and have not even been able to shower for months or even years due to water scarcity. People definitely won’t be always satisfied with everything, but they can at least be glad for what they have.

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