Manahari: Busy highway and fast moving vehicles and people. Looking at the scene, it seems that everyone is in a hurry to reach the destination. But 6-year-old Manisha Pariyar, who was walking on the side of the same highway, did not seem to be in any hurry, she was following her destination at a slow pace.
Manisha’s journey was a little different from the two scenes seen on the highway at Manhari Village 9. Manisha is young, she is old enough to walk with the help of her parents. But Manisha, who is not able to walk on her own, is carrying her one-year-old sister on her back and is walking towards home.
Taking care of herself and her sister Preeti, Manisha is walking ahead, while her grandmother Meena is seen behind. Due to asthma, 55-year-old Meena finds it difficult to walk fast and much. That’s why Meena walks slowly and cautiously. Stopping at times, she advises Manisha, who is walking ahead, to walk slowly.
Khushi Pariyar, another granddaughter, is walking behind Meena with her school bag. The bag that Meena is carrying belongs to Manisha. Manisha and Khushi study in class 1. Meena takes them both to and from school every day.
After her two daughters Sandipa and Roshni went to India for work a few months ago, Mina’s daily life is like this as she has been looking after their children. Meena walks for hours every day to take her granddaughter to and from school. When she goes for a walk with her grandmother, Manisha carries her when she returns.
I can’t carry it, due to asthma it is difficult for me to walk much. So she (Manisha) carries it by herself’ Mina said, ‘I will carry her bag, and she will carry her sister and bring her home.’
Meena, who used to walk for almost an hour to get to school due to physical illness, had to spend another hour to pick them up. Preeti is with Meena when she goes to deliver and pick up Manisha and Khushi. When she goes to school, Preeti, who goes with Meena, is brought back by Manisha. Meena told that Manisha carried Preeti and brought her home in about an hour.
According to Meena, Manisha and Khushi are the daughters of Sandipa and Preeti Roshni. Mina has been taking care of all three people. Mina’s economic condition is very weak. Mina’s husband also stays at home due to asthma. Meena, who has been living in a rented house after taking care of her three grandchildren after her daughters went to India to work, narrates that it is difficult to get treatment due to lack of finances.
The husband himself is sitting. I am also sick. “There is no money even for treatment,” Meena said. “My daughters went to India in search of work. I have been making a living here.’
Words/Photos: Diwakar Bhandari
(Bhandari is Annapurna Post’s Bara Correspondent and the director of this eshilalekh.com.)