Inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York Page, Karishma Mehta started a similar page set in Mumbai in January 2014. She named it Humans of Bombay and started telling the stories of Mumbaikars. Today, the verified Facebook page boasts of over 700,000 followers.
On Friday, Mehta shared a story of a Mumbai man recollecting his memories from Nepal during the 2015 earthquakes when he was here as a part of some relief operations. He was in a village called Sakhwa where he met a ‘nameless’ girl who he thought was not more than 8 years old. He recollects her to be “muddy, shabby”; and how “the villagers kept shooing her away, asking her to leave and poking fun at her and dissing her every move.” And suddenly, the little girl came to him and gave him a hug. And that was the moment that changed everything.
The Mumbai man later came to know that the girl actually had no real family and had been living with her uncles who were financially too weak to take care of her. Her father was a drunkard and he was never around. On the other hand, her mother had abandoned her and eloped with another man. The situation was so bad that once she hurt her head but no one attended to her injury which resulted in losing her speech. He even recalled how the villagers “treated her like cattle” and the most heartbreaking part of all, she didn’t even have a name.
The man returned home but the memories of the little girl always remained with him. He wanted to help her, and wanted her to have a good education. With the help of a friend in Kathmandu, he somehow contacted the little girl’s uncles and arranged for her travels to Kathmandu where she is now getting the proper care and education that she needs at Special Education and Rehabilitation Center. He even named her — Anaya.
Anaya is now making some progress. She is healthier and she can even say a few words. The man has since then made around 10 trips to Nepal to meet her and every-time she sees him, she runs to give him a hug. She has even learned to say the word baba (daddy) which makes him happy.
Read the story below in his own words. You can find the original post on Facebook.