November is known for the best time for travelling to Nepal. But in 2011 travelling in November turned out to be a real adventure for many tourists. Most of the time, the Kathmandu valley was misty und trekking tourists had to wait for days and weeks in the villages up in the Himalayas to fly back to the capital as the smaller airplanes could not land in the Kathmandu valley.
Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, ideologist of the Maoists, is the current prime minister. Even the opposition believes in his courage and incorruptibility, although as a leading politician he is also confronted with the reality of power. His negotiations with India is criticised by the grass-roots-level and brought him the name "capitalistic enemy". Other parties take this as an opportunity to replace him with a more modest candidate.
The cooperation with China is shown all around: roads and bridges are build by the Great Power, which enables them an easier way to India as well. In Kathmandu slums have to give way to roads, which are broadened. In Mid November it was announced that 11 of 74 slums must be gone within 14 days. We advised Inhabitants of the slums against that, especially because many of them are highly in debt because of credits for houses. Unfortunately without success. The inhabitants of Banshigat, who had to leave their homes, are willing to demonstrate and negotiate. But all they will get out of that is a bit of time. Anyway, we will carry on with our work in the slums, although the mood between us and the responsible persons in the slums were a bit dull due to dirt in the slums. Sija, who has spent her whole life in the slums, has not noticed that. During a orthopaedical examination Tenzing and Smita, who are just finishing their studies in physical therapy in Bangalore, found out that most of the children suffer from backbone and leg-curvature. They advised the mothers of exercises which help the children to get well again. Additionally, many adults suffer from pain and need advise of how to handle that. We hope, that they and especially the mothers keep with the advises we gave them. As all the years before we also gave out 300 winter jackets.
The story of Mohammad Aktar, who needs kidney transplant, takes its time. The donators almost all agreed in helping him and thanks to one generous spender of 11.000 Euros for the operation we could do it. Sija tried to realise the operation for about 4 months: first of all she found out, that kidney transplants are only possible in Nepal, if the organ coms from a relative. A year ago, a urologist was arrested, who made a lot of money out of dealing with kidneys of the poor. A transplantation of kidney of a non-relative could only take place in India. Mohammad Aktar told us, that his brother would give him his kidney - until we found out that he does not have a brother. During this time, he had regular examinations and was prepared for the operation. Once he came to us with a scared mother of 4 children and her 3 brothers and husband, who had decided to sell her kidney for 6000 Euros! We were appalled by that behaviour and decided not to help Mohammad Aktar as he lied and betrayed us for many times and we could not justify our help anymore. Now he is living in the mosque of Kathmandu and his dialysis is funded by his religious fellows - and not by his mothers begging as he told us.
Muna and Sumitra, who finished their studies in health assistance, are now working for our project. Sija is still taking care of the slums of Banshigat and Palpakot, while Muna and Sumitra are helping mothers and children throughout all slums, who suffer from very hard circumstances - like Meena Paryar, who burned herself very badly with a gas cooker in the age of 16. Today she is 22 and her man left her with the two kids. As her right hand is distorted and inflexible and she cannot move her head properly she needs an operation to be able to take care of the two children. The operation is planned for March 2012.
Yesu, aged 11, is mentally disabled and very aggressive and self-destructed. Muna took him to psychiatric hospital with the help of two men. He gets medical treatment to protect him from himself. Arjun Gurung, aged 10, lives around the corner and is a very happy child although he suffers from spasticity. He is now going to the only school for disabled children in Kathmandu, where he gets lunch, a physical therapy, takes part in class like the children form wealthy families and is brought to school and back every day - for 50 Euros per month. This is a new life for him as has spent his whole life in the barrack in the slums. Jakub, who is paralysed, cannot speak, but does understand everything, spends his life inside a barrack as well. We could make his life happier with a Chinese radio and two warm blankets.
The camp of the nomadic people caste of the so called Mautes is miserable. They spend 6 months in Kathmandu breeding and selling pigs and then move further. This is possibly the dirtiest and smelliest slum! Two children, suffering from spasticity, are not treated medically. It is very difficult to help them as they do not have a constant home. The most alarming situation was when we found a nameless baby girl with a cleft palate, whose mother just died after giving birth. We could convince the father to agree to an operation although is might be difficult for such a young girl to get well in a camp like that. But we will do our best.
In Nepal you can find lots of inborn deformation, especially with the Mautes, mostly due to marriages in one family. Munaria, aged 36, was tied up as a child as cripples could "earn" more money with begging. Since she can walk, she crawls on all fours. Muna and Sumitra choose this charismatic woman to give out medical drugs to children after they cleaned their faces and hands. The children had purulent eyes and get antibiotics. Doing that Munaria got a new social status within the community and gets respect for that. Stiil, it is quite common that parents cripple their children to earn more money with begging.
Other non-proft associations often build brick-homes, we work in a different way. We do field works and help the most suffering people in their surroundings. Even if the slums of Kathmandu have to move - we could move with the poor, who then ahve to live somewhere else.
Many thanks to all of you and thanks to your support we can make the life of those people easier.
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!