Living with a hope to rise once before death

Living in a one room bamboo makeshift house, Dhan Kumari, a 61-year old from Homa village under Lhamoizingkha dungkhag, Dagana Dzongkhag, has been living there for more than seven months.

Ever since she fell from a one storied house about 10 feet tall, back in her village, her legs got paralyzed and she was bed ridden since then.

“It has been almost 16 years that I have been paralyzed,” she said. “It is only me, who knows how it feels to live with both legs paralyzed,” she added.

Prior to that she lived with her children back in the village but since the Basic Health Unit-1 was very far from her village she was forced to live in the makeshift house built on the government land by her brother.

With no source of income, it is difficult for her to pay Nu 1000 as land tax for using the government land.

Popularly known to the people of Lhamoizingkha, as “boju” (grandmother), Dhan Kumari has eight sons and two daughters who are deceased. The two sons are in the capital working as drivers in some private firms.

The other six sons are settled back in the village and make their living out of working in the fields.

Dhan Kumari said that ever since she was paralyzed, she was dependent on her children for all sorts of support and at times she feels ashamed of having become so pitifully-dependent.

“I only wish if government or any concerned authorities could help me with treatment so that I can stand on my own feet and lead a normal life before I die,” she added.

During rainy seasons, with no proper roofing, water leaks from the roof, making it difficult for her to live inside. The house located at the extreme edge of the town has no neighbors which makes her feel insecure at night. But, nothing unfortunate has happened till date.

“May be miscreants know that I have nothing worthy of possession and have never made an attempt to do anything wrong,” she said with a smile on her face.

Inside her tiny room, she has one single sized bed with thin mattress and a torn mosquito net hanging from the bamboo wall.

At the other corner, she has one wooden box piled over the other box properly, where her clothes are put inside.

There is no electricity either and by the nightfall, it is too dark for her to stay outside with nothing to see so with no option left she is off to bed.

A urinary packet is always attached with her body since she can not stand on her feet and go to toilet.

She has a small kitchen and few utensils to cook in. And there is only a traditional oven to cook food.

Dhan Kumari, still hopes to rise on her own foot one day.

Chencho Dema / Thimphu

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