Go to main content
 
 

Nepal earthquake: inseparable Nirmala and Khendo

Inclusion
Nepal

On 25 April 2015, Nepal was hit by a violent earthquake. Hundreds of kilometres apart, Nirmala and Khendo were both buried under the rubble. Rushed to hospital, they each had a leg amputated. This is where they met, attended rehabilitation sessions with HI’s physiotherapists, and learned to walk. Three years on, they are almost never apart and even go to school together. Their dream? To dance again.

Khendo and Nirmala were earthquake victims in april 2015 in Nepal.

Khendo and Nirmala were earthquake victims in april 2015 in Nepal. | © Elise cartuyvels/HI

The earthquake

I was at home with my family when I felt the earth shake. I tried to run like the others but a wall fell on top of me. I don’t remember anything else. I woke up in hospital in Kathmandu without one of my legs. I was really frightened,” says Nirmala, 10.

I met Nirmala and Khendo shortly after the earthquake,” explains Sudan Rimal, one of HI’s physiotherapists. “I massaged their stumps and taught them exercises to strengthen their leg muscles. They were fitted with a prosthesis and learned to walk again. They regularly come back to see me. We need to adjust their prostheses every six months because they’re growing so fast. We’ve formed a strong relationship based on trust.

Three years later

Three years on and Nirmala and Khendo are almost never apart. Nirmala’s family has moved to Kathmandu where her father works in a textile factory. Khendo lives without her parents, who have moved back to Sindhupalchok district. During the school term, the two girls stay at boarding school. They are in Year 4. “We sleep in the same room, in the same bed. Whenever Nirmala cries, I cry. We do everything together. I haven’t seen my parents for a year. I really miss them. I love living in town and buying clothes in shops, but I want to see them again.

At school

Khendo enjoys science lessons at school: “We learn things about the human body and our lives. For example, it’s bad to smoke and to drink alcohol. Later, I want to be a primary school teacher or a nurse, to care for the injured”. Nirmala adds with a twinkle in her eye: “I want to be an actress. In fact, I already am in a way. I’ve already acted in a film! I want to be famous.”

Find out how you can support HI's actions throughout Khendo's history.

 
Where your
support
helps

PRESS CONTACT

CANADA

Gabriel PERRIAU

USA

Mica BEVINGTON

 

Help them
concretely

To go further

HI's commitment to fight violence against women and girls with disabilities: Interview with Corinne Gillet
© Neil Thomas/HI
Inclusion

HI's commitment to fight violence against women and girls with disabilities: Interview with Corinne Gillet

Until 10 December 2019, the annual international campaign "16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women" takes place. On this occasion, Corinne Gillet, Disability, Gender and Age Policy Officer, explains how HI, as an organization, ensures that no one is left out.

People with disabilities are still excluded
© Kate Holt / HI
Inclusion Rights

People with disabilities are still excluded

As the world celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, HI calls governments and actors involved in development cooperation and humanitarian action to make all efforts to fully include people with disabilities and lift any barriers that discriminate against them.

Accompanying humanitarian aid workers to better include persons with disabilities
© S. Ahmed / HI
Inclusion

Accompanying humanitarian aid workers to better include persons with disabilities

A set of professional strategies and practical guidance published today aims to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian aid delivery and ensure their participation.