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Nirmala's story

When the water shook

"When the water shook" is a series of short videos that follows 10-year-old Nirmala from Nepal. The series includes five short films that feature Nirmala's life: the earthquake, rehabilitation with Humanity & Inclusion, her life at school, and much more. Watch her videos and share her incredible story with your friends!

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The disaster

The earthquake which hit the country on April 25, 2015 killed more than 8,000 people and injured 22,000, including Nirmala. In this episode, she recalls the moment the earthquake struck Nepal and what it felt like to wake up with a missing leg. 

Life with a disability

Immediately after losing her leg, Nirmala met Sudan Rimal, one of Humanity & Inclusion's physical therapists. He helped her regain strength through physical therapy and supported her as she took her first steps with her new prosthetic.

In Nepal, disability is primarily considered a social issue. It is rarely addressed as a public health issue or taken into account in education, health, and economic development. An estimated 78% of children with disabilities are excluded from school and only 1% of population of people with disabilities has access to decent, waged employment.

Why Nirmala loves school

Today, Nirmala is enrolled in a boarding school in Kathmandu, thanks to support from Humanity & Inclusion. She shares her room with Khendo, her best friend, who was also injured in the earthquake.

The inseparable duo

Although they lived miles apart, the earthquake brought Nirmala and Khendo together. On that dark day in April, both girls lost a leg after being buried under rubble. A helicopter airlifted Khendo to the hospital where doctors amputated her leg. Soon after, she met Nirmala in Kathmandu and they've been inseparable ever since.

Standing tall

During the holidays, Nirmala returns to her parents' home to visit. Her father works in a textile factory and her mother looks after children. Thanks to the rehabilitation care provided by Humanity & Inclusion, today, Nirmala stands tall.


Ensure children like Nirmala can stand tall after a disaster.