"I have spent many years of my life defecating in the open and walking 40 minutes to collect water. I have tripped, injured myself, sprained my legs badly and even slipped and smeared myself inother people's faeces uncountable times. I want to put those bitter experiences Making life easier for the disabledbehind me and live the rest of my days at ease," says 85 year old Ganga Maya Rana, as tears roll down her cheeks.
For Ganga who lives in Khatriswara, a community in Tanglichok VDC, Ward No. 5, Gorkha district, life has been difficult without water and a toilet close by. Seven years ago,Ganga started losing her vision. She approached a traditional healer in the hope of finding a cure. Alas, those visits were futile. At a free eye camp in the village, Ganga discovered that her optic nerves had been damaged beyond repair; she regretted not having consulted an ophthalmoMaking life easier for disabledlogist earlier.
As she started to age and increasingly lost her vision, and with just her husband at home and no family member to support, managing the household chores, fetching water and going to defecate became challenging. Ganga reminisces, "I had no shame defecating openly because I could not see."
In 2013, the Sandhikhola WASH project came to the village. Along with construction of a water supply system, a sanitation campaign was run. Ganga says, "With the help of my neighbor, I would go the hygiene and sanitation classes. The classes inspired me a lot. I discussed with my husband about building a user-friendly toilet at home. He willingly agreed."
The project run by NEWAH facilitated the building of an improved toilet and tap
close to Ganga's house keeping in mind her special needs. Today Ganga can Making life easier for the disabledindependently go to fetch water and use the toilet. She shares, "I use the help of a fence and rope to find the tap and my toilet," and adds, "For disabled people like me, it is the thought that counts, the thought to build user friendly facilities."
Today Ganga is grateful and happy that she has water and a toilet facility within her access.
Sarad Paudel, Senior Health and Sanitation Facilitator, NEWAH Chitwan