Bikash Tamang is 25 and he is from small village in Lamjung. When Bikash heard about the Artificial Limb Fitment Camp hosted by Sahaj Community Hospital, he made his way to Nawalpur. Beforehand, we had tried to receive an artificial limb in Pokhara and Kathmandu, though was unsuccessful in both attempts due to his poor financial situation in the face of the high fees being demanded. And because the Artificial Limb Fitment Camp at the Community Hospital was held free of cost, Bikash was one of the 508 beneficiaries to receive a new lease on life.
After the successful fitment of 508 limbs, the Sahaj Community Hospital received numerous calls from people across the country in regard to the free limb fitment services. This came as no surprise with an estimate of 100,000 amputees living across the country, according to the Amputee Association.
Bikash, before receiving his limb, carried a large stick to support himself as he moved around. It was so difficult for him to reach school due to his disability, which is why he dropped out after reaching grade 10. This story is not unique to Bikash, however, as there are both countless youth and adults who share a similar story to Bikash.
After the end of the Fitment Camp, Chaudhary Foundation supported Sahaj Community Hospital in establishing a permanent center on its premises, due to the camp’s success and the pressing need of further services. Not only does this center provide these much-needed services, but the operating staff makes an effort to engage personally with all beneficiaries to understand how this fitment has changed their lives.
The services provided at the permanent center go beyond just providing beneficiaries with an artificial limb. Rather, this initiative aims at restoring livelihoods and moving towards the rehabilitation of recipients. This means aiding those return to a normal life with equal opportunity regardless of race, religion, gender, ability or income level.
Before he left the camp in Nawalpur, Bikash had conversation with one of the members of Chaudhary Foundation regarding his search for job opportunities due to his poor economic condition. One day, after returning home to Lamjung, Bikash was tending to his goats and received a call from the Community Hospital. It was a follow-up call from the permanent center concerning the effectiveness of the provided artificial limb. When he once again expressed interest in aiding the very center that changed his life, the Hospital informed him that the Hospital needed help to run the permanent center.
Bikash took this opportunity to aid other amputees without hesitation and traveled back to Nawalpur immediately. Bikash is now receiving training on how to assist the technical experts at the permanent center team on preparing such artificial limbs.
Recently, Bikash and Mr. Gajanand, his teacher, decided to visit the Maulakali temple – approximately a one-and-a-half-hour hike that consists of hundreds of steps to climb uphill. This is a hike Bikash has always wanted to conquer and was now both physically and mentally prepared. On the way up, Bikash climbed these stairs faster than Mr. Gajanand while also requiring less post-hike recovery time.
Bikash has become an inspiration to many people. He currently works at the permanent center offering counselling to those who have come to receive fitment services though feel as though they have lost all hope due to their disability. When Bikash shares his story with others, however, they leave with a boosted morale and with great confidence by the end of their fitment. He is also learning about technical fitment of limb procedure. Bikash provides for himself completely independently and is working towards financial stability. Further, Bikash is also considering finishing up his studies.
Bikash, like many others, can say with full confidence that the Artificial Limb Fitment at Sahaj Community Hospital has truly changed his life.