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SHANTI SHRESTHA

Shanti is 55 years old. She never received an education and was married at age 14. The realities of married life were quite a shock to her and she worked hard on vegetable farms to provide for herself and her husband, who was sick much of the time. By the age of 15, she had given birth to her oldest son. At the age of 18, she gave birth to a daughter who died just after birth. At age 21, she gave birth to a second son. When the 2015 earthquake happened in Nepal, Shanti lost her home and has been living in a temporary shelter. In the future she will also have to face the problem of losing her land to the government for new road construction, which worries her. With her income from knitting, she will be able to pay for her family’s basic needs. She dreams of living a simple but happy life. Her biggest dream (which she says seems impossible because of the expense) is to go on a Hindu pilgrimage to the high Himalayan mountains and other sacred sites.