Peace Perspective of Dumkala Adhikari, Nepal

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.

Learn more about our work or consider donating to our research and outreach activities to help us work with people like Dumkala in living a healthy and peaceful life in Nepal.

Prepared by Riyaz Karki
Lead Field Researcher, Nepal

Peace Perspective of Sita Gurung, Nepal

After three days of traveling on the road our group finally reached Simma, a remote village in Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal.

Our beaten vehicle and tired driver gave in to the unlit rough road. We had to walk a few hundred meters to reach the first house of Simma. A contrast to the darkness of the night, a bright wide smile welcomed us. It belonged to Sita, a mother of three, with her youngest wrapped in a colourful cloth slung around her body.

As soon as we slumped on wooden chairs, Sita gently placed her sleeping baby in a cradle and asked her other daughter to rock it. She then went to the kitchen where her husband had already started the fire and prepared our dinner in between conversations.

During our short stay, we learned a lot about village life in Simma from Sita. She taught us the differences in local wine varieties, the common source of income for the people, and the recent incidents in the village, one of which was the passing of a young boy who fell off a cliff and was left untreated due to lack of medical facilities.

On our last night in Simma, we asked Sita the question, “when do you feel at peace?” With the light from her firewood stove glowing on her face while breastfeeding her baby, Sita gave us her definition of peace. It was an honest and salient reply.

Peace is when my children are not sick. I am at peace when everything is fine in my household, when my friends and family visit me.

Any ideas or comments on Sita’s peace perspective? Share your thoughts below. If you want to share your own peace perspective, click here.