October 29, 2020/Kathmandu-
You seem very busy after lockdown?
-Earlier also I was busy running from jail to jail rescuing children of the inmates. But after lockdown my routine has changed. I am busy cooking food and distributing those who are hungry on the streets because of Covid-19. In the jail people get food, but on the road they need us more. Also, because I meet many people on the street, it’s not safe to meet people in jail. Soon after lockdown I have been feeding hungry people who lost their jobs because of Covid-19 conditions.
How many people you feed daily?
-Every evening we distribute food to 700 people. They wait for me on the streets and the places we go distributing around are regular ones. So if one misses at one place, they come to another place as we move distributing the packets. But in the beginning we had begun from only twenty people.
How do you manage the expenses?
-There are generous people who support. Most of them are my friends. Some of them are UN retired, foreign friends and business persons. Dilbhusan Pathak, Babukaji Shrestha along others are very helpful. Most of people contribute on the occasion of their birthdays and in memories of their late parents etc.
How many have you fed so far?
-It has been 7 months, we have been doing the job. So far we have fed around 2 lakh people. Of course many are regular and they keep repeating.
What about the jail children?
-All of them are with us. 4 new children have been rescued during this period with proper PCR tests. We have 17 children homes all together.
Total how many children are in these homes?
-There are around 200 children in the homes run by Prisoners Assistance Nepal run by us. In Sanghu home itself there are 94 children. Some have gone home.(could hear the vessel sounds, she cooked as she spoke)
Are the children safe?
-We give them hot ginger water with good amount of spices everyday many a times. They also get egg, meat and fruits included in their diet. Also we take proper care of cleanliness.
How do you get the energy to work?
– It has been 32 years have been doing the job. If your heart is at right place, right things happen. I never take a break, not a single day. Sometimes I feel tired but my passion keeps me working. Just in this case of distributing food. They know my route, so with hungry tummy they wait. I can’t rest at home and need to run. Many are disabled, senior citizens are those who lost jobs. But this is not a competition. Even people who receive services are learning social work.
Are social workers also involved?
-We don’t ask them to sit down and eat. Since we need to be careful about the situation, we don’t encourage crowding. There are some who help us. We have the daily regular route where we distribute. These days I just take a taxi and move on distributing the food. I usually wear blue PPE. So when they see me that shout ‘aama ko khana aayo’. Therefore we have banner too written with that line infront of our taxi. We move ahead with food and there are others behind who distribute water. There are many students also who come for food. They take the food and go their rooms.
You also worked with Parijat?
-Yes, She was too week to go around the jail looking for the little children of the inmates. So that was my task to gather information about the children in the jail. Some of the parents were mentally disabled also. I had known her right from the Amrit boarding where I taught. Earlier I was an athlete, a runner. I had struggled a lot. At least now, we are there to support them. But I used to run hungry sometimes to college. There was a friend who gave me 36 rupees for my admission in class 9. Sometimes with just one cucumber I struggled the whole day.
Anything at end?
-In course of distributing food, I came across some youths too. They can do a lot of work if proper training is given to them.