3-9 July 2015 #765

Farmer nurse

Sajana Baral in Himal Khabarpatrika, 28 June-4July

After working as a health professional at Nepalganj Medical College, Revata Rai from Bhojpur went to London where she studied Nursing in Health and Social Care at Thames College. Upon completing her degree, Rai worked with dementia patients for five years.

Her dream was to open a dementia research centre in Nepal on her return in 2011. But things didn’t go as planned. Despite her passion Rai couldn’t find any investors to fund the project.

The 42-year old then turned to animal farming. “Many people questioned my career choice. Why do you have to raise cattle when you have a nursing degree they asked,” says Rai.

But Rai knew what she was doing. She had seen how effective farm houses were in treatment of dementia patients. In countries like Japan and the Netherlands there are model villages being opened especially for dementia patients.

“With the income collected from the farm, I hope to open a treatment facility with international standards for dementia patients,” says Rai who has seen how badly they are treated here.

Majority of elderlies who suffer from dementia lose their learning ability and start behaving like children. Instead of being given proper treatment, doctors and relatives in Kathmandu Rai notes give dementia patients sleeping pills and lock them up in their rooms.

Rai’s farm in Bhaktapur’s Bode is spread over 3 ropanis. At present she makes Rs 1200 to Rs 2000 a day selling eggs.

Read also:

Remembering dementia, Kenji Kwok