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Kapil Tamang's Story

GtG: Micronutrient Supplements: Vitamin A and Zinc Kapil Tamang

Five-year-old Kapil is not at school today. He is once again sick with diarrhea and stomach pain. He will go to church to pray with his mother for recovery.

Kapil has suffered from diarrhea numerous times, in some cases becoming so sick that he can’t even walk.

Kapil’s father, brother and mother work as laborers, but when Kapil is sick his mother Panchamaya has to stay home to take care of him. When stomach ailments hit the children – as they do several times a year – his mother, Panchamaya says they “can’t go to school. They can’t work. They can’t even walk. They need complete rest.”

Kapil lives with his family in an illegal slum area called Paurakhi Basti, outside Kathmandu in Nepal. The settlement of more than 300 houses was formed by homeless people from different parts of the country.

The family built the hut they live in. It lacks electricity or safe water, and borders the smelly, polluted Bagmati river. Typically for families in poverty, their diet is low in vitamins but high in energy. 

Based on an interview by Prakash Adhikari. Photographs by Prakash Adhikari.

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