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Child

“All my youth, I lived with the animals, mostly buffaloes in the base of the high mountains. At least, the place was cleaner. After every few months, I would come down to collect my ration, only to see the miserable living conditions in the village. You see, back then there were no toilets like today. Human waste and litter was everywhere you walked. During monsoon, the mud would be knee high. We had no insulation and no way to protect our newborns from the dripping waters from our roofs. The stones used were not always reliable. Many children and women died of diseases as there were no hospitals. People relied on traditional healing practices and rituals. Those gods did not always work for us. Fetching drinking water was the most difficult thing in life, you had to go to the source which was several hours away. Even during winter, I was always trying to get away from all that. But that was not possible after I became a family man. How could I leave my children for my own comfort, so I started staying back. I constructed a shed and used it as a toilet. I cleaned the house and re-stoned the roof. I started to grow maize and corn. There was some improvement. Even today, if something breaks in my house, I do not wait for someone to come and help me. I do it myself. But things does not always go as planned. A few days ago, I lost all my grains to the pre-monsoon hail. So sometime, I am just wandering around the village alleys, thinking of how to solve my problems. But beating my head will not solve any of it. Soon life will show me the way.” (Pahara Gurung, Bhujung 4, Lamjung)