His eyes filled with tears, Man signs to tell his story. Kala helps him express his feelings, “We have been neglected and insulted by society not only for this disability but also because of our surname. Sarki is a Dalit name indicating that you are handlers of leather, the shoe cobbler caste.”
“My family and I had never imagined that we would have something to call our own because, for us, it is tough to earn 200 – 300 Nrs per day. How can we imagine even buying land. I feel fortunate that in my lifetime, the government made this possible by giving us a piece of land and Habitat for Humanity helping us build a house where we can sleep soundly. Now we don’t have to worry about the annual floods nor the earthquakes.” She added, “I remember when I was young, I saw children my age going to school, but I had to go with my father to work in the market. I haven’t learned any sort of letters, except sign language.” Man holds Anita but she keeps sliding off his lap. “Now, I have only one dream; send her to school. For that, I will give every drop of my blood and sweat. I want to give her a better life than what we came from because she is our goddess,” touching Anita’s little feet and hand which is full of creases and scars.
“In our society, to be born as a girl is a burden, because it is expected a girl must have a dowry; otherwise, it is difficult for her to marry well. Our daughter is our hope of life,” Kala expressed with a smile on her face, then looks at her husband. “Despite his disability, I love him because he is very caring and respects me even though I am much younger than him. This is a very odd behavior in Nepali society. Here, wives are mistreated by their husbands, but my husband is different and unique,” as she wipes away her tears.
For the Sarki family, they have been able to receive and enjoy the blessings given to them recently. They have triumphed in a society where they are marginalized because of the low-caste and physical disability. Still, because they appreciate every blessing bestowed upon them, they exude love and strength.