Laughter is the Best Medicine

| CHEPANG |  ft. Miss Nepal 2018 Shrinkhala Khatiwada | BWAP Extented

Nepal is small but it is paradise. Minute but enormous distinct but it is a world in itself I am Sisan Baniya and my aim is to explore the whole Nepal. The more I travel, the more I get reminded by these words of Laxmi Prasad Devkota Truly, it might be possible to reach every country in the world but to wholly explore this minuscule part of earth, that dissolves into geography, one lifetime might not be enough. Out of 123 ethnic groups of Nepal, “Chepangs’ are one of those ethnic groups and also the one that is left behind. Although the Chepang settlement is only few hundred kilometers away from the Capital, electricity, and other most basic of the needs are yet to be accessible here. The houses here, and their lifestyle, makes me feel, they are still living in dark ages. The starving stomaches, sleep without mattress, and although, distant from the modern day comfort these Chepang people, always returned smile and laughter. And today, we are going to get them know from the close. She is Shrinkhala Khatiwada Miss Nepal 2018 We started a mission to help Chepang people under her direction. We moved to Hetauda few days prior to the Full Moon of Dashain Festival We witnessed the car accident; a car that was returning home after the festival of Dashain. The small help of reaching the injured to the nearest hospital, was done by our driver. From Manohari, it is generally preferable to get a vehicle with a high ground clearance. Crossing Manohari bridge, leaving the main roads, we travelled North following through the river. Here, the roads are accessible only when the river is dry and low. Although, it was the first time for our video unit to travel through this road, Shrinkhala has taken this road a multiple times. The project to help Chepang people and the road construction project, was started concurrently. It was normal for our off road vehicle to get stuck once in a while, in this road that is recently constructed. To reach our destination, inspite of obstacles that laid on our way, that was a great deal to us. Nepali roads, and travelling over the roof of a vehicle was quite an experience! Looking at the roads, foreign people would yell, ‘Life Threatening’ but our driver dai took it easy and just smiled. On the second morning of our trip, we finally reached Kailash Gau Palika of Makwanpur district. Hello everyone! We are at.. hmmm.. ..where are we ? Tamlang Tamlang Tamlang So tell where this place is? It is in Makwanpur, 4-5 hours drive from Hetauda. Say Hello! Hello everyone! Welcome to Tamlang! and this is where we are living, this is my bed. We are here to shoot the Beauty with The Purpose video for Miss Nepal 2018 So where is she going? Miss World Miss World Which country? China Oh China China, right? Umm Oh its near So this is where we are living for 4 nights so we have covered few windows covering all the windows will make room wind proof we will stay, sleep here and do whatever and what else? this is like our base, we have charging station on the left and sleep on the other side This is a medical essential. Very important!
[Lets click our photos in engineering hats] [Lets Click! Climbing the trees] [Lets Click! See the other side] The place we were staying was a soon-to-be Ward Office. Leaving our camera equipments, belongings and concern behind we left the place to shoot all day long. There is no worry of losing anything here. The kids here, were shy the first time we first met but we were patient The Chepang kids are obliged live a life of danger in everyday life as a result, they get capable enough to take care of themselves early on in life. Although the rives and streams are not very far, clean drinking water is inaccessible right by their houses. Every household has atleast 5 children and playing with siblings is their favourite pastime activity Neither this village has TV, nor toys or money. Parents are not able to take care of all their children so, elder children are obliged to play the role of a parent to take care of their younger siblings. In curiosity to identify yet more problems, we visited few homes in the village. Based on this analysis, Shrinkhala conducted health related interviews with few villagers Namaste ! ..only after our health started to decline for worse we were identitifed with the disease called tuberclosis. Because of severe headache, I am not able to go for work in order to make ends meet. Food supplies lasts only for few months other months we seek around for food and among people around. Where was the kid born? He was born inside this house And the other sibling? He was born in this same house It was heart wrenching to know that this little kid was born in this house without medical assistance This house is no bigger than a room of a average urban house There was not even a thin line that separated kitchen from bedroom. All three generation lived inside the same little room that they call house. There was nothing in the name of wealth in this house, a hen that is borrowed. What happened? Toothache? Oh Toothache Hurting much? Can you please show me your teeth? Aww, it’s all cavity and decay! Can you please open? A chepang family survive on income as low as $200 per year to make their ends meet. The little farm they have is barely sufficient for themselves, things they produce is not able to make it to the markets. The joy & tradition of living inside their own little world, has passed from generation to generation. This house didn’t even have walls whilst, he welcomed us to his home with a smile Please show me the flavors? Is that all you have in your kitchen? Indeed Salt and Turmeric. The life that is relied upon the mashed corn flour, they hardly get to eat chicken or mutton. This was the house my father built, it walls got destroyed by the earthquake of 2015 and since then we are living without the walls. Living without earnings, warmth had to be sacrificed. What’s you name sir? Deep Bahadur Chepang This needy condition was seen all over the village. One early morning we heard a sweet sound of an woman singing from the bushes, the woman happened to be collecting grass for the cattle. I’ve never sang in this way before. You have such sweet voice. We were very fascinated by the voice of this woman named Parbati Chepang, so we further tried to make her feel comfortable. She finally got comfortable enough to sing another song for us [Applause] Amazing! Sensational! Her voice touched our hearts, her innocence made us speechless, it felt like her voice represented the voices of all Nepalese women. Hiding her pain under her resilient heart, she pressed both her hands together to say goodbye. We were left speechless. Shinkhala’s path to come over to this village to help Chepang people, it was all written in destiny. The first time Shrinkhala came to this village, she got caught up by this giant tree, and decided to make health post by its side. This tree also happened to be a source of inspiration for our video team as well. Right now we are at our favorite place. Lets place our phones over here Wow, yellow dressed lady up there! Almost Almost Almost Yeah, yeah, yeah yeaaaaaas Made it ! Wow even the guy this heavy made it! Staying up half a day infront of a computer spending countless hours of time scrolling phone screens meaningless that city life our ours. Whenever we got time, we came to hang around in this tree. Reminiscing the trip, the liveliest of the moments were spent over and under this tree. The tree like this is invaluable. The way we climbed was nothing in respect to way Chetra Bahadur dai climbed. He also taught us techniques to climb a tree. This 45 year old Chetra Bahadur Chepang, was one of the the most educated and wisest amongst the villagers. When you climb down.. Support yourself with foot? Right! Dai looks as cute as a Panda. Seems effortless! Can’t grip our foot well! Exactly! No grips! I’m stuck! Come catch me! Almost on the ground! How come? Must be easier this way! So this is the technique! So the pressure to your hands are lowered this way? Yeah, right! We only met him few days earlier, He shared his words on his bee farm and also talked about agriculture. He also offered us a piece of raw honey. Does it intoxicate us? Not really ! Yummmmm! So delicious! So goooood! He told us about the people and history of the village. Although he might seem like a regular guy, but he happened to have a profession like no other, which utterly surprised us to a great extent. During nights, Chetra Bahadur Chepang performed shamanic rituals. He permitted us to video document the process of healing one of his patients. Talking about these practices in our community, we encounter with spirits in our dreams and that’s how we get to identify the kind of illness of my patients There are number of various ailments patient could facing. Some ailments could be fixed through rituals while others demand patients to take modern day medicines. What is ‘lagaan’ in general? ‘Lagaan’ is anything that make you ill in a supernatural matter. Spirits feed upon our body parts such as hearts, lever and so on, Patients get haunted with nightmares, some see spirits or hear the voices and scream ‘ayoo ayooooo’. We also use the pattern of patient’s heartbeat to identify ailments, holding the wrists of the patients. We start with this process before we perform any rituals. In the process of evicting demons or spirits, we shamans have to go through hard inner battles, if we shamans, get scared of those spirits, even us shamans could get illness. And if the demon is powerful enough, even us shamans could die in the process. The holy process demand us to be deeply focused, and we do not entertain slightest of the disturbances. So in the process of exorcism, while fighting a hard battle with the demons to claim the soul of the patient. We need to be very courageous when you make an effort to claim the soul of the patient. If shamans get scared by the demon who possess the patient, that could lead to disastrous results. Both the patient and shaman could fall ill and even die. To get to witness those paranormal rituals in person, it was unforgettable. To follow god and goddess is our religion, but to fix human ailments using mantra or animal sacrifices is practical is no way. The child morality rate in this village is extremely high. The death toll among children is atleast two children per house in this village The blankets and mattress does not suffice all their children. Lack of basic education, even the most common diseases can be lethal. Due to high mortality rate, parents prefer to reproduce higher number of children. How many children? 5 sons and 4 daughters used to have 5 daughters, one left. To where? In the jungle, we buried her there. What was her age? At 14 Yeah 13 or so What happened to her? She was caught by the rainbow and got lunatic So rainbow makes you go lunatic? Yes, the end of the rainbow, when it catches you, it make you go lunatic. This can not be true. It’s true, rainbow caught her and she collapsed. So how old are you? I guess 40. 10 kids later, she must be around 40 I must be around 45 years of age. In one of the Dashain days, that happened and got lunatic we called up shamans and did everything to save her we spent a lot in the hopes getting her well I gave the shaman 7 chickens, 2 gallons of alcohol, and also Rs. 500 in the hopes of her recovery. to the shaman? Yes But hospitals would be more preferable than shamans, no? We also too her to various religious priests as well it failed! Maybe that was all the time she was given in this world. And she was just gone. Our mission was related to these same issues. We didn’t wanted to see these problems repeating Our mission was to make people aware about family planning, solve pregenency related issues and eradicate overall health issues among the people. Children fall the victims of malnutrition, while elders catch diseases that last their lifetimes. People are barely aware about the kind of food that is healthy to intake. this way, they are left helpless when their children fall sick. Despite being a shaman, Chetra Bahadur Chepang is not overly superstitious, as he was brought up in a modern world. Shamanic rituals can not eradicate physical diseases in a person, however the ailments caused by spiritual entities can be evicted. also rituals help patients in regaining hopes of getting better. But to recover from physical illnesses, I recommend people to go to medical centers. The health post initiated by Shrinkhala is almost ready Having completed her Bachelor in Architecture Engineering from prestigious Pulchwok Campus, she designed this Health Post all by herself. This health post is the result of hard work of six long months The significance of being a Miss Nepal in our very country is remarkable high. Keeping up with the expectation of our citizens, Shinkhala and her mother, Munu Sigdel has been contributing remarkably to the people of Kailash Gaun Palika. Beside education and road connection, health care was something she kept her major focus on. Who wants to get fat like teddy? me, me, me.. To make health post come to life, she was able to collect the of $50000 from her own Nepalese people living here and overseas. We thank all the doners and supporters from this video. Despite facing a lot of obstacles on our way, she has invited 10 doctors of diverse fields from the city for the first day of health post. Today is going to be the very first day of their lives for most people to enter a health center. Gynecologist, optometrist, dentist, endocrinologists and various other doctors offered their service to the people. Along with adults, children were also inspected and treated on this very day. From this day on, this health facility is going to bring big changes in the health status of people for the better. We received the results way more than we expected. 260 people were served on this day of inauguration. 70 different types of mediction were distributed. All given for free. The patients for whom it was impossible to reach the health camp by themselves, was made possible by carrying them in a ‘doko’. Indra Bahadur Chepang turned very glad to have his problem put to the doctors. Village authorities also arranged us with token of love in order to pay respect. To make this happen, my mother has played a remarkable part and also I want to thank all the people involved in making it possible. Our work was not over yet.. As a Dashain gift, Shrinkhala handed over the warm clothes to children, through the Beauty With a Purpose team. The significance of a pair of dress, is remarkably high for these kids. In this way, our 4-day long program came to an end. With a camera in the hand and curiosity in our minds, our works takes us to these various corners of the world. We express our deep gratitude for this wonderful experience to this village. Also a very special thanks to Kailash Gau Palika and Beauty With A Purpose team. Adios!
-Team Paradygm Jai Nepal! Thanks to Namuna dai, our ranger, who helped us throughout the health post project and production of this video. Here is someone who has immensely helped us in this project. I see you getting camera shy! He is Udash dai and we are extremely thankful to him. Stay stable! Ah! we wrecked this tripod of us! He has a song for you! yea? Namaste Miss! Awww, Namaste! Sit down there ! Face towards the miss! Don’t be shy!

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