Chitra Kumari Thapa is a carpet weaver by profession and a woman of absolute strength. She is a mother to two beautiful kids in the My Small Help family. By extension, she too is family.
Anjali Thapa Magar, Chitra’s daughter, has been supported by MSH since 2007 when we first came to know of her condition through Anita Gurung.
While the intention behind this post was to introduce Anjali and her sister Alisha as our kids and speak of her journey, it is nigh impossible to profess their story without talking about her mother.
Harsh Early Year
The sisters had a difficult childhood, to say the least. Their mother, Chitra, moved to Bafal, Lalitpur from her village back in Sinduli in hopes for a better future for the family. Chitra was pregnant with Alisha, her younger daughter, when she migrated as a single mother. The father chose to not be in his daughters’ lives and they don’t really know where he is.
Chitra raised her daughters by working hard hours as a carpet weaver at a nearby factory. When we first came in contact with the family of three, they were living in a tiny room. Anjali was studying in grade 5 and the year was 2007. Alisha was still in kindergarten at the time.
We offered to sponsor the children’s education and from time to time we helped out with some clothes and stationary.
While this was going on, Chitra had to move with her kids once more. She had changed her workplace to another small factory. They moved into a dwelling just below the road, close to her new workplace. The hut was an extremely dark and damp place with close to no natural lighting. Admittedly, it was pretty bad. Chitra still worked for 8 to 10 hours everyday just to make ends meet.
Realizing that perhaps some more assistance was required, in 2012, we helped Chitra set up a grocery shop to uplift the family’s economic status. That same year, Anjali completed her SLC with a respectable 76.25%. Sadly, the shop was not very successful and had to be closed after just a few quarters of operation. Perhaps, juggling two jobs was hard on Chitra.
The mother of two went back to working on rugs full time and was still living in the same place.
In 2013, MSH Nepal volunteer Aaron along with Mr. & Mrs. John Stamp visited the family of three. Understandably, they were deeply struck by the poor living conditions and decided to pay their blessings forward by helping Chitra and her two daughters find a new home. It might not sound like a lot to a lot of us, but their new residence came with sunlight in the daytime hours, a proper toilet and easy accessibility of water. The organization has been paying the rent for the room ever since. What’s more is that the factory that Chitra was working for let her set up a weaving loom at her residence. She could make a living weaving carpets while spending more time with her kids.
Things Are Looking Up
It all paid off for the hardworking mother as her eldest graduated high school the very next year — that too with the excellent grade of 84%. One year later, MSH helped her become a grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in Gorkha. Anjali worked there for three whole years before moving back to Kathmandu and getting a college degree.
She also got herself another job as a teacher; this time with Nepal Don Bosco School in Imadol, Lalitpur (close to where she grew up and her family lived). She graduated college in 2018.
Today, Anjali lives in the UK with her husband who she married over the pandemic