‘MY STORY’ by a Nepali boy who has spent most of his life in a children’s home

Hello, I am 18 years old. I was born in Mugu village high in the mountains in mid-western Nepal. I cannot remember my early childhood but know that the Maoist Rebels came about the year 2002 and raided our village with handguns and khukuri knives. They killed hundreds of people especially police, soldiers and educated people like teachers and doctors who supported the Government and the Royal Family. They took away teenage boys and healthy men to indoctrinate them. They looted our houses, taking food and anything of value, and also some of our sisters. So only the very young children, old people and some poor labourers were left to look after their small fields and animals.

Before then, my family had about 17 donkeys which we rented out and 300 sheep. I was maybe 4 years old and spent my days as a shepherd. I lived with my older brother who had hidden away when the rebels came. We ate chapatti , rice, potato, green beans, spinach and pulses. We ate meat only at festival time. The sheep milk was used for making cheese and we sold the fleece to make warm clothes.

Water poured into hands to drink

Later I went to school which was about 3 hours walk away. The school building was made of stone, mud and wood, and there were only about sixteen students. The girls stayed at home to do housework and work in the fields. Many boys left school about 14 or 15 years old and were married to girls from a neighbouring village.

We were all Hindu and the caste system was very strict. My family was a lower caste, so we were dominated by the upper caste. We were not allowed to touch their clothes or food. If we did, then it would be thrown away. We were not allowed to drink from the same vessel as they did. Instead, they poured the water into our hand.

Little Ones at Occed  old house in Naxal

When I was about 6 or 7 years old, my brother went to India for safety, so I was sent to OCCED Children’s Home via the District Commissioner. There were about 20 children from babies to my age. I was so frightened and I tried to run away, but another boy saw me and I was brought back. I stayed there about 6 months. Then I was sent with other children to the main OCCED Children’s Home in Kathmandu.