Shanta comes from a village in Kapilvastu District in the Western Region of Nepal, where her father is a subsistence farmer. Shanta is the youngest of four children and the third daughter. As a child, she contracted polio, which left her physically disabled. Consequently, she walks with crutches.
Shanta says her father did not care about her education or offer any encouragement. Although her parents brought her to a hospital in Kathmandu, they could not afford the treatment. Fortunately, they inquired about organizations that help disabled children. At age 12, Shanta became a resident at large home for disabled children. She says that living with other disabled students made her feel stronger and more hopeful. There she also met Amrit Pudasaine, an educator and social worker who became an important mentor for her and several other BMKF scholars. When Amrit left the large organization to found DHC New Life Center, Shanta and a dozen other disabled students followed him.
“The new organization was really a dream land and good environment for me,” Shanta says. “Everyone in the world has some kind of dream. Some will be able to fulfill their dream, while some don’t. I too have a dream to be successful in my BBS study. College is expensive in my life, because my family does not help about my study. Amrit sir always tries to help about my dream and told me about the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation.”
Shanta’s goal is to complete a business studies degree and become a bank manager. That way, she says, she will be able to support and empower other people with disabilities.
“Then my family and society can learn that a disabled person can do something,” she says. “And other disabled women can take (a) lesson that we can pursue an education.”