In a small town, an honest carpenter is struck by a mysterious illness. He sells his house and belongings, leaves behind his wife and family, and moves to a nearby city to find a cure that will allow him to rebuild his old life. But no cure comes. Though he receives some help from friends and doctors, his illness worsens, ravaging his body and rotting his fingers and toes. Unable to work, he is reduced to begging outside the gates of a church.
The story sounds almost Biblical - unrelenting punishment meted out by a capricious god. But in Kathmandu in Nepal, it is all too real.
This is the story of Ananta. Once a member of the Nepalese middle class, he now faces the most grueling poverty. His fight for basic survival continues to this day. It is a common scenario in Nepal, where health insurance and public health standards are still in nascent stages. Like thousands of others in Kathmandu and across Nepal, Ananta has no money, no insurance, and nowhere else to turn.