Younger Generation Can Redefine the identity of Nepal
The nursing is not my choice of education due to ignorance and my family socio-economic background in 1990 at Chitwan. My dad enrolled me in Staff Nurse at Nursing Campus Pokhara because he didn’t want to see me to encounter with men foresters, policemen and struggles with wild animals and of course climbing ups and downs of mountains. I never regret on his choice.
That 3 years nursing course gave me many things in many ways. I got to know more in Nepal. In first and third year, I encountered with many head injuries, fracture and other surgical patients who were come from the hilly regions such as Lamjung, Tanhun, Kaski, Parbat, Syanja, Baglung etc. I asked myself what about the people from other districts like from Manag, Mustang, Jumla etc. They injured while they were in foddering, firewood and other household chores. Likewise, many patients were came at last minute of their life who were suffered from acute, respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, chronic asthma and other associated diseases and conditions. Of course, there were other diseases though they represented poor, marginalized communities and areas. I loved to take care of any kinds of bed ridden patients as my parents, because my parents had Tuberculosis, Chronic Asthma and they were very poor with large family. I started to think that I was lucky enough, because I had the health post in 45 minutes walking distance and hospital in 90 minutes walking distance where I survived even from tetanus.
The second year of my staff nurse course was given me more energy in my life which taught to be proud me as woman by letting me know all anatomy and physiology of reproductive life and its importance in society rather an individual benefit at narrow sense. I always dying to hold the baby first while childbirth and hurry to make first breath or cry. I know why does the first cry is very important for baby externally and internally. Unfortunately, I also observed many life threatening cases including ruptured uterus, hand prolapsed, retained placenta with hanging KUTO, bleeding, neonatal deaths, septicemia etc. I really wondered on how my asthmatic mom gave six births alone on farm.
I worked in Bharatpur hospital for 7/24 as Anesthetic Assistant nurse for 4 years. I experienced the same level of disease and conditions like in Pokhara. In addition, I also experienced first time rape case in town. I was shocked and asked myself about my role and keen to away from `comfort zone’ of hospital. But it was not easy because my family background was poor and I had government permanent job along with 25 % extra allowance of anesthetic allowance, 25 % allowance from hospital support committee, extra income from teaching in private medical institutes. More importantly, I was uplifting social status of my family and parents by assisting in treatment of family, relatives, friends and all.
I was determined to work in the community since childhood in order to fight with hunger and gender discrimination as my parents guided but struggling to find the way. Finally, I gave up my powerful and luxury job at Bharatpur and went to Kathmandu for Bachelor in Community Health Nursing. At the meantime, I also continued my Master’s in Health education and felt bit more confident to step beyond the four walls of hospital. Finally, I landed on fire of poverty, discrimination and war in 2001 at Jumla.
The journey was so tough; each day was gift from god and mobility restrictly prohibited. There was no telephone, electricity, roads and no services for basic needs. As a result, many infants and mother were dying in front of me. For instance, a retained placenta case was died due to excessive bleeding where no intravenous fluid, no injection e.g. oxytocin and blood, operation theater and timely referral practice were out of imagination. That case changed my mind again. I mobilize local people or stakeholders through `Miteri’ approach and finally able to found the blood bank, C-Section and emergency obstetric fund for referral system though there were many depressive and furious moments.
Today, I work independently by founding organization called Action Works Nepal www.actionworksnepal.org in empowerment, human right and peace building through various programs by mobilizing the individuals/private institutions and others through Miteri approach in rural and marginalized areas e.g. Karnali. Because of in rural areas, even today, women and children are dying with same conditions and diseases. We have long way to go, but possible by collective positive mindset of young generations from different walks of life. It is crucially important to change the identity of rural Nepal for redefining the identity of Nepal. Moreover, the birthplace of all us is not by choice, we, none of us have right to discriminate and we, all of us obligate to cultivate the culture of peace by small, simple, spontaneous and sustainable AcTiOnS.
(This article is prepared for BPKIH as asked by bhai Ankit Ghimire)