“It’s most important… people need to see that those in Khokana can enjoy life too.”
I am told this by a woman in her late 50s called Laxmi. She is one of the chiefs in Khokana leprosy colony, a state-run (of sorts) collection of houses and rooms just outside Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
I’ve been editing A LOT of photographs to do with my leprosy project recently. As well as staring at a computer screen all day, some of the images can get to you. Among my recent edits have been personal photos I took from a stay at Khokana leprosy colony. I have plenty of stories to tell from this place, but the words of Laxmi (at the top) rung with me recently, so for today’s post I thought I’d dig out a couple of the more joyous moments I experienced.
An elderly, disabled resident of the colony who can’t walk is carried by his brother and Bikash (whose parents are both affected by leprosy and who was my translator and a good friend) in a tarpaulin out onto the grass where he sits quite happily for much of the day. Khokana, Nepal 2013
Hari Maya, 73 almost wets herself laughing at how she’s dressed up a neighbours daughter in a bonnet and glasses. Khokana, Nepal 2013