MYAGDI, September 7 :Aaita Bahadur Dorjee of Beni Municipality-2, Faparkhet of Myagdi district can be seen carrying his old and trusted baton and a hammer all the time. He wakes up early in the morning and routinely visits nearby schools and houses to grind stones. Although he is visually impaired, he shoulders a big responsibility of looking after his family.
Dorjee lives in a small makeshift house built in a public land. His wife and a son take him to the workplace. His eldest son is a 12th grader at the local Arjun High School, Bhakunde. On the other hand, his youngest son studies in the sixth grade at the same school.
The family is the poorest in the entire village and is facing severe financial crisis. “I grind stones to provide bread and butter to my family. My earning is the only thing that is keeping the house running,” said Dorjee.
He has Category 'A' disability ID card for which he receives a monthly allowance. “However, all the allowance money goes for eye treatment and medicines of my youngest son,” he said. “Likewise, my wife also falls sick time to time. This has worsened our financial situation even further.”
Seeing the difficult condition of Dorjee's family, some local youths had initiated a campaign to collect money to help them. Dorjee said the collected money has eased their livelihood to some extent in the past few months.
“Along with purchasing foods, I also use the money I earn through daily labor to purchase clothes, books and stationeries for my children along with other necessities,” he said, adding, “If I start work from the morning, I can earn up to Rs 200 on a daily basis. But my hands get sore and I cannot sleep whole night due to pain if I work too much,” he said.
However, Dorjee is more worried about the future of his two children than the pain in his worked-out hands. “Even by eating meal just one time a day, I'm determined to not let my children face any hurdles in their studies. I have kept the words even to this day. But soon it would be my children's turn to take care of me,” he said.
Although there are many non-governmental organizations who work in the areas of disabilities, Dorjee complained that none of the organizations have extended help to his family. Likewise, he also has complaints against the elected local representatives. “The political leaders have failed to live up to their promises,' he said.