The political and social situation in Nepal has hardly changed. The few rich people get richer and richer and the mass of poor people gets poorer. Deadly clashes between Maoists and police continue, but media carefully avoid to report about them. Maoists are killing people and want to destroy gradually the few factories, which the country has, but their leaders are secretly admired as a kind of „Robin hood“. Even middleclass people, fed up with the rampant corruption of ruling circles, do not hide their sympathy for the „ideas“ of the new underground movement.
As the house-rent for our children’s home has become too much we now took another house. The 60 inmates of Children’s World moved in a rather chaotic manner to their new home. Nepali have no sense for logic or organisation and if they have to tackle some task, they prefer to begin with the end! For example they put all furniture into one room and only then realized that the floor covering is missing. Or they installed the kitchen equipment and only then remember that they wanted to get it renovated before... The difference between East and West in mentality again became so grossly evident that we, who often are on the verge of getting crazy, decided to better laugh about it! In spite of all odds everything went well in the end, and now the rest of the smaller tasks will be tackled by and by. Phurba suddenly came to the conclusion that she is unable to live together with so many children and left 3 months ago. Namrata Thapa, who so far is highly dedicated to her task and efficiently supports Khim, replaced her. We hope she will remain for a long time, because the children require some stability in the management of the home.
Ram Pukhar, Baghat and Renu passed their higher school-leaving exam. Ram Pukhar would like to become an environment engineer, but we try to guide him in another direction, because he is terribly stuttering, an ailment for which there is no treatment in Nepal. Renu wants to become a nurse, and Baghat would like to be with the police later on.
Raj Kumar bravely struggles against his disease, but he suffers pain that he cannot sit more than 10 minutes in one position and constantly has to be turned. Because it is painful for him even then, he often begs to be taken to bed and then immediately back into the wheelchair. Meghraj is so to speak his second self and does all things for him with an admirable patience. Sometimes Raj Kumar starts abusing everybody around him and shouting that he wants to be killed. But most of the time he accepts his situation with dignity and is thankful to the children, who lovingly help him with the smallest thing.
Shanta, who left our Children’s Home 3 years ago, to run after the „great love of her life“, now has a cute baby, but the blows she regularly suffers from her alcoholic husband and the miserable life in a hut without water and toilet make her bitterly regret her running away at that time. This experience made her a grown-up woman, and she still is our honest and kind Shanta. Despite the miserable condition in which she lives, she took a small, begging girl from the street and sent her to school, as long as she could afford to pay the school fees for her. Now her husband has defected to India and she hardly has anything to survive.
We took the small Rina into our home and just put Shanta back into school. A neighbour watches her baby for a little food. As for Shanta she would leave her husband at once, but he already threatened that he would kill her in that case. In Nepal such threats have to be taken seriously, for such types of murder are not rare, and since nobody is registered officially, such perpetrators are not even searched for. They simply go underground in another part of the country and the matter is finished. We supply Shanta with the necessary basic foodstuff. We managed to convince her that the school remains her only hope. Of course nobody should know there that she has a baby. She studies diligently and is already „third best“ in her class.
Our blind Goma returned from New Delhi for summer holidays. She is cleverer than all other children and is growing into an extremely self-conscious small personality.
Bikram has finished two years of College and wanted to become an electrical engineer. Suddenly he changed his opinion and has signed up as a servant for a Five-Star-Hotel in Dubai. We tried to discourage him, but the prospect to earn 300 DM a month was stronger than his wish to continue his studies. As he will leave us within the next two months, it means we have one responsibility less! Chandra, our driver, left us as well, to drive lorries in Saudi-Arabia for 2 years and the make money. Gulf countries recruit masses of Nepali men and Bangladeshi people as cheap labour force. These modern voluntary slaves bear everything just to take home a little bit of money after a few years.
Shankhelal, who replaces him, is a nice boy, but even the first day the car was marked by his way of driving.... Most drivers in Kathmandu valley are rather rude, and therefore it is difficult to find a nice and good driver.
Shree Krishna’s excellent performance in school and his incredible eagerness convinced us to send him to India, where he can find a better school level and also more chances for a qualified higher education.
Her husband has forsaken our cook Anita in pregnant state. She rented a room with Laxmi and Sita, two employees of our project, and is staying in children’s home during the day.
After 6 months’ of living on the street Santosh returned full of remorse, and started an apprenticeship as carpenter. What he tells about his experience „in the street“ sounds horrendous to our ears and serves as a deterring example to all children.
By now the bigger children are helpful to Namrata and Khim, who manage Children’s’ World. They already do certain chores and take good care of the smaller ones. Also this time our visit in Kathmandu gave us lot of courage and we had much fun. In the name of all children and grown-up inmates of Children’s World we thank you for your support. We shall report again by the end of the year.
With kind regards
Elisabeth Montet - Uwe Pohlig