On the other corner of Nepal | Milaap

On the other corner of Nepal

What makes Nepal curvy to me is the different faces of women that you get to encounter at every stage of your journey.  This is a channel for gratitude and appreciation for all those women who have gone through their struggle for survival and against all odds still stand with their heads held high as the flight of the fearless kite.

Anita, is a survivor of the earthquake devastation that hit Nepal. She lost her family and friends under nature’s wrath. Even at that delicate moment, she devoted her time in rescuing the other injured victims. It was around that time that she caught the eye of an international organization KNI from Germany. Fascinated by her tenacity to serve people when she had just lost literally everything she owned, she was given an offer to start a new life. Today, Anita runs a handloom sector where she makes all kinds of bags from pure cotton thread. Over that, she also trains other women of the village to learn the art of weaving and make an earning out of it. Anita has a smile that is a perfect mixture of agony and relief.
“When I was given the opportunity to redo my life, I could not let it go to waste. Life is so much more than mourning on losses. I cannot get back what I had eluded but I can make best out of what I have now”, Anita.

Anita Boini

Sahayogi Haath, Nepal would not have come into existence without the ideas and efforts of Radha Poudel, Director of this Non-Profit Organization. Her retirement did not cease her from continuing to give a helping hand. It was then, that her years of experience and benevolence of childhood took a structured form of what came to be known as Sahayogi Haath. It is not that she did not have to face any hurdles over these years of struggle. She vividly recalls when she was hopping from one bar to the other in Pokhara, trying to provide free cancer screening for the young female dancers, she faced quite an amount of resistance. Against all odds, she spent days talking to these young maidens and inspiring them to take better care of their health.
“Like everything in this universe, both my organization and I are prone to change”, Ms Poudel still believes that her scope for improvement is never-ending.

Radha Di

Neha is barely 20 with the laughter of an innocent child and the agility of a fawn. The brightness on the faces of people when they hear music is what she was inclined to from a very young age.  When she decided to become a Dj, there were heated arguments in her house. Coming from Katmandu, and being a full-time musician whose working hours always post-sunset, was not a comforting thought for her parents.  Also, this whole stream of work is so male-oriented that conventional risks never leave your sight. But can we stop a fawn from chasing her dreams? With the sheer courage to make her mark in the male ozone, she took her training. As of now, she is one of the best female DJs that Nepal has to offer. Yes, she travels at night with no fear and she makes people dance all over the floor.
“ I have been in love with pop music forever, it seems like I always wanted to be a Dj and being a female was in no way going to stop me from getting there”, says a woman in the veil of a girl.

Dj Neha

The impact of certain stories is so strong that you do not need to meet the central character at all. Grandmother, we shall call her, for I never found the necessity of asking her name as Deepak, her grandson, showered his childhood gratitude to her. The collision with poverty does not allow many people to retain their empathy but Grandmother always made it a point that there were rice and pulses on the plate of her grandchildren. She often went hungry to bed without a single complaint. What she earned from her small food stall was enough for serving her guests with a heartfelt meal and warmth. She would carefully count her savings and keep them in the mud pot to break it open during festivals. She never let the shadow of the dark days befall on her grandchildren.
“I am what I am because of her today and I can vouch for this for my brothers too; had grandmother not been there I would still be a village boy running around to ride a tractor. That portrait of her on my wall reminds me of where my humanity lies”, Deepak.

The Grandmother

Somewhere between spending time with these women, in person or thought, and growing respect for them, I became a better human being. These are just four faces of the so many strong-headed females Nepal has gifted onto my platter. They all come from different cultures, locations and situations having no connection with each other at all. Yet they successfully managed to interconnect their deeds that I have started associating an entire country with their vivacity. If women empowerment has to be a theory, then this is the observation standpoint that we need.