Dhukti Lama, A Child of 3 years, ready to go to School after successfully recovering from Malnutrition Dhukti Lama is a 3 year old child from Simikot Rural Munucipality Ward No 1 in Dojam village – about 6-8 hours walk from the district headquarter Simikot. He is the 5th child of mother Chhuchi Lama. The main occupation of the family is Farming, however growing food only for 4-5 months sustaining the Family of 9 members, the house built with wood, mud, stone and roofed with iron-sheet. The family earns their lives from farming in general way like many other family in Humla district.
They grow food for maximum of 3-4 months in a year. For the rest year they have to rely on herbs collection in the summer from Chuwa Khola in the high mountain. The community of Jaya Bahadur Lama faces problem in road access, education, health, drinking water etc. As Dhukti was malnutrished since his birth, the family was selected in the project, Nutrition improvement Program for Marginalized Children in Humla. Dhukti was suffering from very poor personal hygiene and sanitation. His hands and feet were almost dried and stomach was like swollen as a symptom of malnutrition. He could not go to toilet on his own. Dhukti also could not perform his personal cleaning and daily living skills. As the time gap between Dhukti and his brother is close and lacking proper care and nutrition during pregnancy, Dhukti might be victim of malnutrition.
The family of Chhuchi Lama practice polyandry marriage (multiple husband for single woman) like some other Lama community in high Himalayas of Nepal. Chhuchi has 3 husbands. Though the family with polyandry marriage seems economically strong, it has other personal issues and privacy in home affairs. This marriage system is however being declined because of modernization and acculturation. Before the project, the family had no greenhouse for sustaining the houseplot in the off-season in the winter. The family of Dhukti used grow some vegetables in the summer in the near by kitchen garden however it lacks proper way of cultivation and kitchen garden management skills. They also had poor nutrition status and limited knowledge on nutrition, family sanitation, and child care. As the family is quite big, the family lacks proper hygiene/sanitation for the family members and also around the houses in comparison to other houses in the community.
The mother of Dhukti, Chhuchi Lama hoped to grow a varities of vegetables and greenleaves in the kitchen garden not only in summer but also in winter by establishing a greenhouse with the support from HEAD Nepal and prepare balance food so that her son Dhukti will improve his nutrition status. In the course of the project within with this one and half year of intervention, the family improved a lot in case of personal and family hygiene/sanitation, good nutrition practices. The mother Chhuchi attended the nutrition class and kitchen garden management class provided by HEAD Nepal. The family received agricultural input like seeds of different varities, greenhouse plastic, drum for water pit and Jholmol preparation. They also received two chickens for egg consumption. The family regularly receiving home-based training/facilitation on kitchen garden operation and good nutrition practice. Along with cultivating seasonal vegetables in summer, they have established greenhouse for off-season vegetable cultivation for home consumption.
“I often cook vegetables with the meals for the family and specially for the children” the mother Chhuchi said. Previously it is hard to access to a varities of vegetables seeds and I did not know how to grow vegetables” She further mentioned. Now a days, the family regularly cook vegetables along with other meals. As a result Dhukti improved his nutrition and can comfortably walk with big smile. His personal hygiene is improved in a greater extend. Last year white and dried looking face of Dhukti has been changed into red and round chick. His body is filled with mussels and looks strong enough. The father, Jaya Bahadur has plan to send Dhukti to school next year. Now a days he can go to toilet and use it properly on his own including some personal cleaning. Lives of the entire family has been changed now that Dhukti can live more independently/