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FEATURE STORY March 23, 2021

Against the Odds


Sabrina Dangol/World Bank Nepal

Jima Chaudhary, Massage Therapist

Jima Chaudhary came to Kathmandu from Bardiya four years ago after finishing school. She trained for a year in massage therapy and works as a therapist at the Seeing Hands clinic in Kathmandu. 

Jima was blind at birth and so was her elder brother. She lives in a flat with friends in a neighborhood in Kathmandu.  

Last year, as rumours of the lockdown started, most of the staff went home to their respective districts. However, Jima chose to stay expecting it to end in a few weeks. Things got bleaker as months progressed - she spent most of her savings on food, water, and rent. Her landlord insisted on a full rent despite Jima having not worked for months. Eventually, she was forced to vacate and move back home to Bardiya. Bus tickets were sold out and other transport means were too expensive. Jima was finally able to get a lift in a cargo truck, traveling for over 24 hours to reach home. 

Having stayed home for over two months, Jima was eager to return to Kathmandu and finally resumed work around a month ago. There aren’t too many people dropping in for massage therapy but she is hoping for things to go back to normal soon. 

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This story is one of 23 stories spotlighting women from Nepal who are breaking the mold through their stories of resilience, hope, and grit amid the COVID19 pandemic. Read all the stories here.