While winnowing her grains at mid-day sun, we met 53-year-old Dumkala Adhikari. Her husband works all day on the field because it is the only source of income for their family of six. After marriage she came to Basantapur, Kapilvastu in the southern part of Nepal where she now resides. She originally hails from Arghakhanchi District, Western Nepal.
On being asked what peace meant to her, she said:
Peace means being free of diseases and not to suffer from any illnesses. My heart is at peace. If you are not sick, it is good for family as well.
Dumkala has not been able to work due to her illness. She added that it has become very difficult for her husband to work alone on the fields. Expensive medical charges make her reluctant to regularly visit a doctor. She is currently under limited medication and her husband bears all her medical expenses.
Dumkala hopes to get rid of all her diseases so that she could resume in contributing to household expenses, which ultimately leads to happiness among family members. For Dumkala, peace means a healthy life.
According to World Health Organization’s 2015 data, Nepal’s life expectancy is at 69.2 years, ranking 118th out of 183 countries. At a glance, this is a fairly good indicator considering that the average life expectancy worldwide is 71 years. However, based on the recently developed Health Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE), which measures years lived healthily and without disability, Nepal’s life expectancy lowers down to 61.1 years and ranking 121st out of 183 countries in 2015. Furthermore, if 33-health related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators are factored in, Nepal gives a starker picture ranking only 158th out of 188 countries in 2015.
Prepared by Riyaz Karki
Lead Field Researcher, Nepal