Orphaned by the insurgency, the fate of Nepali children hangs in he balance. Their rehabilitation has been restricted to lip service. A few girls have been lucky enough to be in school, even though it is hundreds of miles away from home. Eleven Nepali children are enrolled in the Michael Jop Memorial and Medical Institute in the south Indian city of Chennai. Five of them are from Humla, one each from Kabhre and Kathmandu and four from the Bhutanese refugee camps in eastern Nepal. Thirty more Nepali girls who have been orphaned by the ongoing conflict will be enrolled in the school by mid-2004.
Seven-year-old twins Sita and Sapana were left orphans after the Maoists slit their father's throat nearly two years ago. Soon after, their mother's disappeared, leaving the girls with no one but an aged grandmother, who managed to get them admitted to the Indian school. The school was established three years ago by PP Jop in memory of his son who died in a car accident, and provides education to 400 girl children from conflict areas around the world.
The Sagarmatha Youth Awareness Group in Lalitpur, which coordinates enrolment from Nepal says it is finding it difficult getting proof that the girls are victims of the ongoing conflict.