REPUBLICA Sadhana BK with her mother-in-law Kwari. (Republica)
ROLPA, June 12: Seven-year-old Jiwan BK often breaks into tears over the painful condition of his mother. She had joined the Maoist armed insurgency to improve the lot of people like herself. Since the last two years she has been suffering from mental illness. When night falls, she is shifted to a shed for goats and chicken, and is released in the morning. Such has been the living hell of Sadhana BK, 30, of Tribeni-5 ever since illness overtook her seven years ago.
According to her mother-in-law Kwari BK, Sadhana’s condition is epilepsy. “Although she can move her body, she has been only semiconscious since the last two years. She can’t put on her own clothes, and she defecates in bed,” said Kwari, adding, “She also burnt both her legs when we were absent. As we didn’t have the money for her medical treatment, we resorted to herbs but it didn’t work.” There was a time when the bad odor of her burns made it difficult for others to remain in the room . That was why she was moved to the shed.
“She fought for the Maoists in the past and now she is fighting for her life, and nobody cares,” Kwari laments.
Kwari’s son is also an ex- Maoist combatant and he tied the knot with Sadhana during the armed insurgency. A few years later, illness started dogging her, and she could not even breastfeed her son. Kwari said, “My son had to marry another woman to help make our lives easier.” The mother-in-law is doing the needful to keep her alive, but they are too poor to pay for her treatment. She doesn’t have proper clothing nor a mattress or blanket for sleeping. Regardless of the weather, she is often left naked and always sleeps on a straw mat.
We thought we were doing something for the sake of the people but we didn’t know it was actually for the good of the leaders only.
Purban BK aka Prabhakar had taken Sadhana to India for treatment but she was not cured.”I spent Rs 500,000- 7 00,000 for the treatment but in vain. Now, I have nothing more to spend,” he said. These days, he supports the family doing physical labor in India.
During the elections, Kwari made all the candidates visiting her home meet her daughter-in-law. “I showed them her condition but they uttered nary a word,” she laments, adding, “They used to say they were fighting [during the Maoist armed insurgency] for the good of the poor but I don’t think the fighting has improved anyone’s life.” Hundreds of Maoist leaders and cadres have walked past her house but none of them showed any concern toward the misery of her daughter-in-law.
“We thought we were doing something for the sake of the people but we didn’t know it was actually for the good of the leaders only,” said Purban, adding, “We now regret it but that’s not going to change anything.”
Sadhana’s family voted for Pushpa Kamal Dahal in the election in 2008, for Onsari Gharti in 2013 and for Barshaman Pun recently. They lament that the poor have been used as nothing more than stepping stones.