015 – Amos – Arupokhari

ARTIST – LUKE CARTER
PHOTOGRAOHY – ANICA JAMES
INTERVIEW – SAROJ NEUPANE

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Luke - Amos

Amos Banyia, 16 years old, Arupokhari. Gorkha District.

“I lost my home and school during the earthquake,” Amos Baniya, 16, said. “It has been a really hard year for us. All of us.”

The teenager and his seven family members live and sleep in a one room tin house, that is roughly 150 square feet, just big enough for four beds and some mosquito nets.

“Winter was the worst,” he said. “It was very cold because the wind kept coming through the holes and cracks- everyone was sick, but my grandma had it the worst, mostly due to her age.”

Arupokhari is just across the river valley from the epicenter of the earthquake, but the village has received little in terms of aid or supplies.

Amos helped the other locals with rebuilding schools and temporary homes in Arupokhari VDC after the earthquake. Education is very important to him so rebuilding the schools meant the most.

“I need to finish school,” he said. “But it is the younger children that needed [the schools rebuilt] the most. My brothers were so scared.”

Now that the schools have been mostly rebuilt, Amos fears that if he doesn’t get out of the village after he graduates that he will be forced into marriage and to have the “stereotypical village lifestyle”, which he does not want.

While most of his peers are involved in village gangs, smoking, drinking and getting involved in relationships, Amos does not partake in such behaviour and instead tries to educate his friends to follow in his footsteps.

“I used to want to be an engineer,” he said. “But now, after the earthquake, I want to be a doctor, or at least work in the medical field. I would like to help my community so that way people do not have to go to the jhakri. They need to be educated, they need real help.”

Amos also said that one of the other problems that has risen in the community is the water scarcity problem. He wishes that he knew how to fix the water problem because “the government isn’t doing it”, but he knows that it is out of his reach, so he is waiting for other people to do something about it. “Or better yet, we just need more rain,” he stated. “It hasn’t rained here since August (2015). That is almost worse than the earthquake, but no one seems to do anything, no one helps. Ke garne?”