Mon, Sep 19, 2011
Thirty-year-old Jhamak Kumari Ghimire gives true meaning to the expression differently-abled. Born with cerebral palsy, a group disorder that affects the functions of the brain and the nervous system, Ghimire uses her toes to create literary pieces.
One such piece is her widely acclaimed anthology of autobiographical essays Jeevan Kanda Ki Phool for which she has been awarded this year´s Mandan Puraskar, Nepal´s most prestigious literary award.
Born in a village in Dhankuta, Ghimire taught herself to read and write using her feet by hearing her sister study, and in her book mentions the first time she wrote the alphabet “Ka” on the ground with the help of a stick as the happiest day of her life.
Misunderstood by her family for a long time, Ghimire was often reprimanded for her efforts of learning by her parents, she mentions receiving a beating for writing on the ground as superstition has it that it brings bad luck.
Ghimire´s determination to learn and express herself breaks almost all physical barriers that she has had to cross. Jeevan Kanda Ki Phool is an insight into the hard life she has had to live for the past thirty years, her determination to be independent despite all odds and her constant fight to overcome all form of adversities.
Ghimire, who along with cerebral palsy also suffers from severe myopia, today earns enough from her books and articles to support herself and her family.