Where Children Sleep


Andrea Wilson

01 October 2012 16:07

The expression in Bikram's eyes says it all, and is why I had to choose him from all the other exceptional portraits in the book. Here is his story:

Bikram is a nine-year-old orphan. He lives with his grandparents, aunt, uncle and two cousins in the mountainous countryside of Nepal. His parents were both killed during the civil war. Bikram lives in a stone house which is a two-hour trek uphill from the nearest road. The ground floor of the building is a stable for the goats and buffalo. It is also the cooking area. The corn is stored upstairs to protect it from rats. Bikram and the rest of the family all sleep together in the corn store. There is no mains electricity, but they have a bedroom light powered by a car battery. The family own a small plot of land on which they grow the food which sustains them %u2013 wheat mash, lentils and vegetables. They are unable to afford meat or milk. Bikram works hard at school and enjoys general knowledge. He and his friends study together and play ball or fighting games. One day, he would like to be a doctor.