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Family Bonds

 Punarbas Village, Kanchanpur

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“Put your finger like this and look at the camera and smile,” Bunu enthusiastically shows her little fingers and poses at the camera, sitting beside her father, Chandra BK. He is holding her little brother, Gaurab BK, on his lap. “Hasnusna,” asking her father to smile for the camera, next calling her stepmother, Saraswati BK into the photograph. Even though Banu is small she can almost be the head of the family, gathering everyone and directing everyone into their place. Banu checks her photograph and giggles pointing at her picture.
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Admiring Bunu’s energy, Chandra smiles and shares, “I am very lucky and happy that both my children are normal, unlike my wife and me.” Despite being specially-abled, Chandra goes to work every day while his wife stays home to look after them. “With God’s grace, now I can stand and walk. Had you seen me three years ago, I was bedridden. That is the reason Bunu’s mother left me and I remarried.” No one would guess Saraswati is not their biological mother. All the bonding they share and the love between them is real.
“Now, I earn enough to keep my family happy and I never worry for tomorrow, only believe in today. We are happy with all that we have and all the energy I have every day comes from my family.” Saraswati adds, “Whatever earning he brings, we manage it and sometimes I feel bad that I can’t go out to work because I can’t walk properly. It is difficult for me to find work cleaning homes and cooking anyway, as nobody accepts me for being a Dalit. Chandra also faces this problem I know but he never gives up.”
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Chandra openly shares all the struggles he has faced for being untouchable. “Not only have my family encountered this problem, but many of us in our community have faced similar problems because we all are poor, uneducated, and ex-bonded laborers. But now I feel secure; I have a house which is ours; that is the only thing the Nepal government has done for us so far.” Chandra joins his hands and closes his eyes to pray, “Now I only pray for God to give me enough strength so I can work and give both my children good education for their bright future.”
Bunu trying to hold her little brother for another photograph fails as he wriggles out of her arms. “I will go to school soon and I will learn ABC, right Buwa?” Chandra happily agrees.
It’s amazing how little it costs to change a family’s prospect.

For as little as $5,000 you can fund a house in rural Nepal.

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