Neither Gora Buddha nor Kumar Thapa can run, but their hands are the source of some of the most beautiful silver jewellery in the area!
They use primarily colourful glass remnants from a glass production facility in Germany (for example in Malente), which Marianne regularly brings back to Kathmandu, or from coloured glass that has been disposed of.
They continuously come up with new ideas for bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings. Hardly a visitor leaves the station without buying a piece of jewellery from Kumar and Gora.
In particular, Kumar's life story is typical for people who suffer from chronic illness in Nepal.
At around nine years old, Kumar came down with a mysterious fever, which forced him to remain in bed because he could no longer move himself.
His father, a relatively wealthy farmer in the highlands of Nepal, called out the local medicine man 15 times to heal his son. That cost him several black goats, hundreds of chickens and lots of other gifts for the “healer”.
When nothing helped, he took his son to a military hospital. As security for the treatment, he had to provide a security capital of 80,000 rupees – the value of his entire property of 40,000 square metres.
At the military hospital, Kumar was diagnosed with polio. He was released from the clinic after several months with word that they could do nothing more to help him and that his paralysis was permanent.
Crushed, the father took his son back home. He had lost his entire house and home for a useless, ineffective treatment. When the two returned home, the father collapsed and died of a heart attack.
Still today, Kumar tears up when he tells the story. You can imagine how much it meant to him in 2011 when he was able to bring the equivalent of € 200, which he had earned from his silverwork at Shanti, back to his family.
A disabled man who doesn't burden his family, but rather supports them financially – this is like an earthly miracle in Nepal!
Besides his work as a silversmith, Kumar also works as a house parent for orphaned youth who live in the Shanti station in Kathmandu. He is loved and respected by all due to his calm, level-headed demeanour.