Abandoned by Krishnamaya Upadhayay

Photo: Krishnamaya Upadhayay/

Man Bahadur Kuwar, and Gorikala Sunar, are a blind couple who live in a cowshed in the Bhotanchaur Village, Jumla. Originally from Sarmigaun, the community in their home village will not let them live there. “We are not accepted by the society because we married outside our castes,” says Kunwar.

Before the pandemic they were at least mobile and could go from village to village singing songs for money. Now villagers in these villages won’t allow the couple back. “They think we will infect them with the virus,” they say. Living in the cowshed, the couple have no food, no drinking water and no bathroom. They drink the murky monsoon flood waters from the Bheri River. “But we are blind, we worry that the flood may take us when we go fetch water,” they say.

They have heard that the government is providing relief for those who can’t support themselves during the pandemic, but they don’t know how to access it. Recently, they have been asking for help from those who pass by their village on the way to Jajarkot but that doesn’t always pan out. “Some days we have food to eat, other days we stay hungry,” says Sunar.

Text and Photos: Krishnamaya Upadhayay @purnimashahi572020
Copy Edit: Nisha Rai @nishastoryteller
Edit: Mallika Aryal @mikaness