‘They told me I can’t receive anything because I only have a daughter’

‘They told me I can’t receive anything because I only have a daughter’

“My daughter was born with a disability. Since my husband died 20 years ago, it has been me and my daughter against the world.

“Being a woman in this society is difficult. As a woman, you are born with the responsibility of a family. Your life begins and ends with the family. I lost my house and everything inside it in the earthquake. Like the rest, I stay in a temporary tarpaulin tent. I can’t go anywhere to work because there is a constant fear that anyone can enter it and my daughter won’t be able to fend for herself because of her mental impairment. I have no sense of security. I am scared of this generation. I am scared of the men.

“As woman in this village, I have no rights. I haven’t received the 15,000 NPR that was pledged to every family that lost their homes. All the times I went to the local authorities, they gave me a list of excuses. Then they told me I can’t receive any money because I only have a daughter, and there is no point in getting relief as I don’t have a son. Now I have started believing my daughter is a burden to me. But neither can I kill her, nor can I throw her away.

‘It’s a miracle we are alive. But I wish another miracle would occur’

“The earthquake buried our landlord’s entire family under the house we were renting. We were away, so we are alive. I know it’s nothing less than a miracle. But as time passes, it’s becoming harder and harder to survive. I lost my job. We lost the money we borrowed from a loan shark to send my husband to work abroad. There is still a heavy interest to pay on that. We now live in a tent in a displacement camp.

“But of all the things, the greatest problem is that I’ve been unable to pay my son’s school fees. I have discussed this with the principal several times, but so far we haven’t reached a compromise. My son has started bunking school because his friends tease him. I’m worried about how that is going to affect him. I know our second life is a priceless miracle. But I wish another miracle would occur so that we can settle our financial problems and my son can go to school again happily.”

Photo: Naomi Mihara