Battery of bus
Rear view of bus
The bus after going down 132 ft. down the hill
Today was quite a horrifying day for the students of Antique Bhadgaon School, located at Sallaghari, Bhaktapur. The school bus carrying more than 50 students of Antique Bhadgaon School met with an accident this afternoon while it was on the way to drop children. About 20 students among others were reported to be seriously injured and were taken to Kathmandu Medical Hospital for further treatment. Other students who were injured in the accident are undergoing treatment in Bhaktapur District Hospital.
Front view of the completely wrecked bus
In Dharan(city of Nepal) I worked as a teacher for Rs. 700 (about 10 USD) per month. It was enough during the initial days but not later. To make ends meet, I started tutoring students and used to make up to Rs. 4,000 (about 60 USD) each month. But that too couldn’t satiate my needs and worse, the police had got the hint of my addiction and were in pursuit of me. However, I was lucky as my parents had lodged a complaint regarding my disappearance. The police couldn’t do anything but brought me in contact with my parents. I returned to Kathmandu (capital city of Nepal).
Once before in Kathmandu, a gentleman had come up to me while I was about to pull brown sugar in a restaurant. He asked me coldly, “Are you coming with me or not?” I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know him. He asked again and it occurred to me that I had been trapped. He was a cop. He took me to the police station and asked for my purse. I handed it to him. He started digging into it but found nothing. No drugs, no money. I found it out later that they had arrested me on suspicion of being a prostitute. Yes, it’s common among cops to regard female drug users as prostitutes. But they didn’t harass me. They asked for my identification and I gave them a fake one. They demanded a bribe but I didn’t have cash. I deposited my gold necklace and watch for Rs. 7,000 and walked home.
It had been enough now. I was sick and tired. I wanted to walk away from the deep abyss of loss and misery. I t was when a friend of mine introduced me to a therapy called ‘cold turkey’ in which you take cold showers when you feel sick and crave drugs. I kept trying it. I also started to get involved in anti-drug campaigns to avoid drugs. After seven or eight months of constant practice and involvement, I started to feel better. I found a job in a call center. But I relapsed again after a couple of weeks. It was alcohol this time. As the final resort, I was sent to a meditation center in New Delhi. It was not a rehabilitation center but helped drug addicts get out of addiction through medication. But I couldn’t stand the hot weather and returned and vowed to lead my own struggle. I still suffer but try hard not to lose balance. Years of addiction have taken a severe toll on my physical and mental health. My muscles hurt as I move and I am prone to common cold all through the year. I am suffering from low self-esteem.
I have lost my family, My mother is not ready to accept me as her child. My sister is in the UK working as a staff nurse and brother has made a good name in the Nepali music field. But I feel I am at the crossroads. I work for an NGO called ‘Dristi Nepal’ which I started with my friends. We work for the recovery of female drug users and assist them in kicking their addiction. To be a female drug user has proved to be the greatest curse for me. I was fortunate enough to resist sick male hands on my body but many girls get raped while they are high on drugs. They tend to submit to manipulators for an ounce of the substance that makes their heads spiral deep into an abyss.
As for me, I have fought successfully against the cravings. But I have had to pay a terrible price for my addiction. I can’t become a mother………
I was raised by educated parents who always insisted we keep away from drugs and other addictive things. But I was a scornful girl lashing out at them for bringing me to this world to fulfill their fantasies. They would try to smother my rage by insisting that I keep good company but that only spoilt me to ruinous proportions. I started to use drugs to take pleasure in my solitude and to keep away from parental affection, which, I thought, was just a honey trap. It has been years now and when I venture to rummage through the convoluted folds of my past; I feel a sharp chill running down my spine. I am overwhelmed by the feeling of repentance and my inner soul cries out for penance.
I was the eldest child but the sense of maturity never dawned on me. I was a carefree creature taking blind turns into the world of narcotics. I had cousins into drug mould and they made me familiar with the nuggets of addiction. Lying beside them all day and watching them make smoke rings was too tempting. I grew curious and took my first drag. I took the whole thing as fashion statement but I was wrong - I was taking slow dive into addiction.
I fell for a guy in the 10th grade. We had baby dreams about life. I eloped with him and settled at his place. But to my disappointment, my husband had four more brothers accustomed to living in perennial intoxication. I lived there for few months but it felt like years. I was slipping into drugs and my husband was already neck-deep into it. I wanted to clean up and start anew. But it was easier said than done. Then things started to go really wrong – my husband was unfaithful to me and would pick up fights ever so often. I was deceived and it was too late to correct the old mistake. I had nowhere to go. Days passed in constant fear and insecurity and after two months, it felt like the sky had fallen on my head – I was pregnant and I was just 16. I had to tell it to the father of the child but couldn’t dare to do so. But I had to do it. I informed him. He asked me to give birth, leave the baby and walk away. I was devastated.
How could I do that? How could a mother leave her child to a monster and walk back in peace? Moreover, I wasn’t ready to bear the responsibility of being a mother. I was too young to raise a child. My mother came to my rescue this time. I underwent an abortion and started living with my parents. But I had tough times settling down again. I couldn’t bear the scorn and took to drugs again. I just wanted to forget everything that shredded my life into pieces. I couldn’t sleep without drugs. I tried everything. I was a poly-user. I just went on drugging myself so I could catch sleep. I started to have altercations with my parents so I opted to live alone and left home.
I started to work for a reputed company with a decent payroll. But that could barely afford my daily doses. I did everything to keep the supply smooth – borrowed money, worked extra hours and took odd jobs as well. I am glad I didn’t have to ask for a single penny from my parents to manage the doses. And I didn’t put my body on sale for an ounce. I was a self-sustained standard junkie. But my parents came looking for me again. I fled to Dharan.