Sushmita lives in Lalgadh Village, a half hour walk from Lalgadh Leprosy Services Centre. Her Mum and Dad live in a very basic house and earn a small income from daily waged employment. A great challenge for them has been that their daughter Sushmita has cerebral palsy and is very disabled by it in every way, being unable to speak or control her muscles. There are no national facilities for children disabled in this way and only very few independent services available. Most children in Sushmita’s condition would not normally survive very long in Nepal and it is an amazing testimony to the commitment and care that her parents have given her, that she is still alive. However, at around sixteen years old, she weighs less than 20kgs, and feeding her takes a very long time. Her world has been restricted mainly to her room, and she has little contact with anyone except her parents, and occasional visits from one or two of the staff from our centre.
When Julie Houghton visited Lalgadh in 2013,to catch up with the Nepali friends that she lived and worked with for some years in the 1990s, she was introduced to Sushmita and immediately wondered how to improve Sushmita’s life. Julie contacted “Through the Roof” a charity that helps disabled people and they gave NLT a folding buggy designed for disabled children. The buggy was dismantled and the individual bits and pieces carried to Nepal this Summer (2014) by various visitors, one of whom reassembled the buggy once he had all the pieces. The result can be seen on the left, and Sushmita’s parents can now take her out and about. Huge thanks to “Through the Roof” and also to the various visitors that helped to get the buggy to Sushmita. It will help to make life a little more tolerable for this family.