Sunday, March 29, 2015
The Sadness of Poverty
I see so much poverty here in Nepal that I get used to it but there is always one person or incidence that gives me a huge reality check and makes me very, very sad. It happened tonight after a long day visiting a school and children. I was walking down the road in Thamel to meet Ed and Dave for dinner when a little man came up to me and said "do you remember me" I said yes I do. I have known him for years, he was a rickshaw driver who was always outside the Kathmandu Guest House. I always spoke to him and sometimes got him to take me somewhere. He was the rickshaw driver I knew best. He was full of life and spoke a little of many languages which he was so proud of. I left my passport in a currency exchange shop once and he was he that got it returned to me. The figure that stood before me now was a broken man. He told me he had fallen on the road eight months ago and broke his arm in two places. It was now in a sling and his hand was useless. His family had left him and gone to India. He had nowhere to live, no income and was a picture of dejection. He asked if I could help with a little money and I handed him some money. Then the tears rolled down his cheeks and he hugged me to him. There is no welfare here, no food banks and no free medical, a city of the dreadfully poor and desperate people. He is no more than about 45 if that but is old and bent. In the centre of Kathmandu there is no begging anymore the authorities stopped it so where are those people now? How lucky we are in our world. There is little I can do for him but give him a few meals, I cannot change his life but the hug of gratitude he gave me me tore at my heart.