Badri Shrestha is a father in his late 40s affected by leprosy, with a married daughter and two adult sons Subash and Sudeep, who are in their early 20s and both seriously disabled by cerebral palsy. Subash and Sudeep are mostly in wheelchairs (provided by NLT) and also require regular medication to keep them stable which is a significant monthly cost. Subash is a bright lad who is a wiz on a mobile phone, but Sudeep is much more limited and has difficult outbursts of temper at times.
Badri himself was treated for leprosy some years ago at Lalgadh, but his leprosy was the more difficult kind and he suffered repeated leprosy reactions. This has physically weakened him and left him with impairment in his hands and feet, making many tasks more difficult. This in turn has seriously impacted on his ability to care for his family, and they have been in significant poverty for some time, although their daughter has helped them where she can. Badri’s wife Somwati, a diminutive lady, is the powerhouse of the family and works very hard with Badri to help their two wheelchair-bound sons through the challenges of day to day living.
Their house is a simple timber, bamboo and mud plaster house, and some time ago NLT helped to improve and enlarge the toilet area to make it easier for Subash and Sudeep to use it. They look after the house well but unfortunately the house is some distance from their business, and Badri has been worrying about leaving the boys for the time necessary for him and Samwati to travel to the market and operate their shop business.
A church group generously donated some funds in 2016 to help Badri’s family with a monthly support to help with medicine and food costs for the boys, for at least a year, and this has helped to keep the sense of impending disaster away from the family, which has been a big help.
However, it was clear that the future for this family was still pretty grim, as mum and dad are getting older and yet have to do so much for their two seriously disabled sons, with no external support. Add to that the commute to reach their business, and it was clear that we had to try and do more. After a visit by Mike and a Trustee, Matthew, in June 2016, we decided to try and help them buy some land nearer the business and support them through selling their current land and building a new house. With our help they managed to buy new land in 2017, in a much better location, and late last year they borrowed money to start building. Borrowing is expensive in Nepal and this has been a struggle for them so, with help from some supporters, we have lent them funds to bridge the gap between building a new house and selling their old house. This has made a way forward for them and they have been working brilliantly to bring it together at their end, and the new house – which will be much better than the old house – is now well under way. Once the new house is habitable, they will sell the old house and release the funds we have loaned them, for use with other projects.
Nothing is straightforward though, and it seems that a neighbour has built on the official access path to their current land which is adjacent to the neighbour’s land, (Badri’s family have been using a different access) and this has made the sale difficult. Lalgadh’s Community Team has therefore undertaken to help them with resolving the problem with the neighbour and the land registry office, so that they can sell their land, in due course.
Once they have successfully relocated, we can reassess their situation and see what we can do to help Subash and Sudeep have a better quality of life. This is one of many stories in progress. The outcome is very dependent on what else we can do.
Do contact us if you have any ideas for this.