Rupa Gandarbha, 30, of Rukum gave birth to ten children in a span of eight years after she was married. Four are alive: 7-year-old Ganesh, 2-year-old Manisha and 3-month-old twins Ganga and Jamuna. Sadly, all of them are blind due to cataract. A poor Dalit woman, Rupa does not have money for their treatment although cataract can be treated. Doctors at the district hospital have told her they can't be treated in Rukum.
Rupa's six children who died were aged between a month and a year and were also blind. "Every time a blind baby was born, I hoped the next one would have healthy eyes," she says. "What did the God punish me for?" Rupa's husband has married another woman and she has to raise her four blind children herself. Her husband has two healthy children from his second wife. Rupa is frail because of repeated deliveries and the burden of taking care of her children.