Kanchi Deula, Sanitation Worker
Kanchi Deula, 53, has been working as a sanitation worker for Lalitpur Municipality for almost 30 years now. Originally from Chitlang, she moved to Bangalamukhi in Patan after her marriage and then got her job in the municipality as a sweeper. She has been earning her living and supporting her family with it.
During the lockdown, when everything stopped, Kanchi’s work did not. She needed to go to the office and was assigned to locations around Patan area on a rotational basis with her fellow workers. The work was not particularly challenging during the lockdown, as there was less movement of people and less litter on the roads to clean. However, there was a lot of fear around the virus and a sense of eeriness as everything felt deserted.
While proper masks and PPE kits were not available initially, arrangements were made later for masks, sanitisers, and handwashing stations as the lockdown progressed. She says she prefered working despite the fear rather than staying home, and ensured she followed all safety measures before entering her home after work.
With Kathmandu Valley returning to some level of normalcy, Kanchi goes about her work as usual now but continues practicing the required safety measures which she had learnt during the lockdown.