KATHMANDU, Aug 14: She lost her left leg when she was young and she lost her parents when five years old. Life hasn’t been fair for 9-year-old Reema Puri who is from Gulmi.
For the past four years, she’s been living at Shrijana Children’s Home in Kadaghari. She’s found herself a ‘mother’ at the children’s home but because of financial status she hasn’t been able to buy herself a prosthetic.
Currently studying in Gandhi Adarsha High School in grade three, she walks to school with the help of her friend and she hopes and dreams of a prosthetic leg, making her life easier. “If I get myself an artificial leg, then I can dance too. If only someone would help me, I would be so grateful,” said Reema.
Two months ago, Reema visited Sushma Memorial Trust where the doctors said that a minor operation on her knee would allow her to use a prosthetic leg.
Since that day, her hopes have jumped higher. “She was very happy when she heard that she could walk again,” said Uma Devi Basnet who runs the children’s home, adding, “We need at least Rs 200,000 for the operation and the prosthetic leg but we don’t have the money, so she’ll just have to wait,” informed Basnet.
“She sings along with us and then she gets up and dances on her one leg,” shared her classmate Neetu Upadhyay, adding, “She’s always smiling, even when she’s talking to us.”
Reema herself confesses that she’s very happy with what she has but she feels bad when some students at school tease her for having only one leg. “When they call me names and say “one legged,” I feel sad. If they don’t say that, my day goes just fine,” shared Reema.
She also shared that she would be happiest when she gets a prosthetic leg for herself.
“Like other kids do, I also want to run to the school and then go around. Now I just stay in my class during the recess. I also want to dance around the garden,” said a cheerful Reema.
Even though she doesn’t remember where she was born, she dreams of visiting her birthplace and sing and dance in the farmlands when she gets her other leg back.
“I have 14 children in the house at the moment. I feel proud and immensely happy when I see them going to school, but at the same time, when I see Reema’s condition, it just makes me sad. If only we could get her a prosthetic leg, I would be very happy,” said Basnet.
After a few publication houses and FM station published and aired Reema’s plea for help, some children in a few schools from the Valley are saving money for the operation and prosthetic leg.
Rujita Mijar, Bishnu Mainali and Nar Bahadur Thapa who study at Mahendra High School in Boudha are leading a campaign to collect money for Reema.
They were the first ones to start the campaign from their school and have collected Rs 9,030 while Jana Kalyan High School collected around Rs 3,014, and the amount has been handed over to Reema.
When I heard Reema’s story and her dream to dance and sing, I wanted to help her. So I started the campaign,” said Bishnu Mainali who is from Dhangadi. He added, “We’re moving forward with the campaign and we’ll continue with this and help Reema.”