Hatiya VDC is approximately on 10km from Hetauda (HQ of Makawanpur District). Geographically, it is a wetland surrounded by hills and has some swamp areas. Although Brahmins, Kshetris and Tamangs have been residing the majority of the population are Dalits. With very less opportunities for education, the community lags in the curtains of development as well. Notion of daughters in laws should stay inside the house is still prevailing in this patriarchal community.
35-year-old, Mayadevi Regmi is from the same community. She lives in a nuclear family with her husband and two children. She had to undergo hardships due to poor economic condition. The education of her children was also affected by the situation. Moreover, personally too, she wasn’t a confident woman and driven by the social belief that women are weak. Being a school graduate, she didn’t have the confidence to speak in front of the people and in the community. Her lack of confidence could be easily observed in her day to day livelihood.
After the establishment of the Women Friendly Space in her locality, she started to attend the sessions regularly. As the days passed by, she enjoyed the sessions more and was much inquisitive to learn. With the curiosity to learn, her participation was increasing in the discussions and she had questions to learn more on the discussed topics and new topics. She also started leading logical debates in the group and started sharing her skills too.
Her participations weren’t limited to the WFS but in other similar groups too. She participated in various trainings in the quest to fulfill her thirst knowledge.
She says: “There was a time when I was afraid to introduce myself to people. Today, I have no fear to speak in-front of people and I can even facilitate the programmes in the community. In fact, I have run few programmes too.”
The trainings and discussions she has participated in has enhanced her capabilities and made her courageous. She has developed a confidence that she could do something on her own and enhance her social and economic status. For the same, she has decided to own a small grocery shop in the market nearby. To develop a better understanding of the grocery shop, she worked with an existing grocery for 15 days. Now she has spotted a place and hopefully she will be opening her own grocery very soon.
She further says: “Nothing is impossible. You need to have willpower and develop courage to do things.”
She is very hopeful that she will be able to maintain the enthusiasm and courage that she has developed and will be able to uplift her economic and social status.