Mina was only 17 when she married Mekhraj Gurung from Lamjung District. A year later, she gave birth to their first child without her husband by her side. Each year, approximately 300,000 Nepali youth leave the country to become migrant laborers abroad, and Mekhraj had joined the bandwagon by traveling to Dubai in search of better employment. Living with her in-laws, Mina assumed the traditional role of a daughter-in-law by taking full responsibility for all the household chores, which continued throughout her pregnancy. During that time, Mina never sought any formal healthcare, did not know where the nearest health post was located and knew next to nothing about the importance of antenatal check-ups, vitamins or vaccines during pregnancy. When Mina fell ill, she consulted local traditional healers for medical advice and gave birth at home with the assistance of local women, a typical practice for women in rural areas. Sadly, Mina’s baby died within fifteen days of delivery.
Last updated: August 20, 2014