KATHMANDU – Bishal Tamang, just 5 years old spends his day with his foot tied to a bed . It is a one room place where a curtain separates the bedroom from an eatery where his mother prepares snacks for her customers.
Januka, Bishal’s mother, came to Katmandu from Udaypur almost a year ago for treatment at Kanti Hospital. He was prescribed medication and sent home. His mother indicates the medicines have helped but she still has to keep him restrained or he will run away. They are left alone as the father and husband returned to India.
Sabita Upreti, founder and chief executive at Special School for Disabled and Rehabilitation Centre (SSDRC) who has been in talks with her says Bishal is likely suffering from a severe case of autism.
The founding member of Autism Care Nepal, Hem Sagar Baral, tries tor raise awareness about autism, however in rural areas there is almost no understanding,
” Autistic children are being tied to cowsheds which pretty much explains about the breadth of their parents’ understanding about autism, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder”.
Autism Care Nepal estimates the population of autistic persons is between 30,000 to 60,000. There is no cure for Autism however behavioral therapy bring improvements., Upreti believes that medication and proper therapy could significantly improve Bishal’s condition.
Medication, therapy and a caregiver dedicated to Bishal ,which would cost up to Rs 25,000, would greatly improve his condition. Januka dreams for this yet it may be unattainable. She plans to sell her eatery and sell fruits and vegetables from a cart on the street leaving Bishel tied to the back of the cart.
At this time, this is all she can hope for; , money to pay rent and food and hopefully the medication for Bishel.
The original article by Chahana Sigdel on the Kantipur.com news website can be read here