Whenever a woman suffers from labour pains in any of the 25 villages in Rolpa everyone thinks of Tija didi, a local female health worker.
Forty-year-old Tija became interested in working as a health worker when she interacted with a female health worker after the birth of her first child. "Eventually I received training and gained experience in the field," says Tija. She has now been working as a health worker for 17 years and is posted at a primary health centre in Mijhing VDC of Rolpa. Locals trust Tija more than the doctor at the centre.
Recently, Tija encountered a rare case. Tika Bista was brought in labour to Tija's home. The case looked complicated so she suggested that Bista be admitted to the local health centre. Because the doctor was on leave, Tija herself attended Bista's delivery. That day, Bista gave birth to four babies. At Tija's initiative, the villagers pooled money for Bista's treatment at Nepalganj Hospital.
She says that she appreciates the villagers' help, adding, "Everyone is in the city but no one cares for the villages, that is why I am here."