Dhan Maya Magar

I am Dhan Maya Magar. Seven years back we came to Kathmandu from Solukhumbu with a big hope to get regular work and earn money. But to get regular work is hard.

16 months of WAWCAS has gone so fast. There is a saying; the flowing river never will come back again, just like time never waits for you, time is always moving. Already 16 months have passed. I can’t believe it, but it is fact. During the end of the period, I would like to reflect on my 16-month period with the WAWCAS program. When I compare Dhana Maya 16 months ago to Dhana Maya today, I can feel and see the positive changes.

The WAWCAS program was an opportunity to discover and learn many things. Throughout this program, I learned that we shouldn’t be scared of challenges. We should get rid of them and should grab the opportunities. The knowledge in IBT is very helpful and I am going to follow it throughout my life.
Now I have set specific goals. This program has totally changed me. For me, these 16 months are full of sweet and victorious experiences. I have learned so many behavioral and social things which plays a vital role in my life. Each and every tool are very useful and have taught me a lot. PCA taught me how to control my unnecessary expenses and save income. Likewise, SWOT also made me realize that I too have many strengths and I am able to change many of my weaknesses into strengths. PSRP taught me how to review myself and understand how to look back and compare my life today with my life before. PSRP really inspired me to improve myself. Not only these tools but issue-based training (IBT) are also very impressive. Every topic of IBT helped me to learn new things and also brought many social changes in my life. Today whenever I look back, I feel so happy that my life has been changed and I feel proud of that. I will never forget that Binita stressed we have to spend expenses only from profit, not from the sales. If we spend our money from the sales for school fees and daily expenses, then our businesses will not be sustainable. Therefore, we have to make our business profitable and we should only spend from the profit money. I would like to give special thanks to Binita, without whom this would not have been possible.

At last, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the whole WAWCAS team for changing my whole life, it would not have been possible without their support. I became a female entrepreneur because of the WAWCAS program. I still remember I was inspired by Sabita and how she managed to change her life and due to her suggestion, I was ready to be part of WAWCAS program.   I would like to commit myself to never be dependent on anyone else, I will be self –reliant and self-sustainable in my whole life.

Dear Reader,

I hope you enjoyed the journey of Dhana Maya. Her journey is a great learning experience for me as well. Whenever we met her achievement boosted my energy. In her group, all of them have good businesses. We have had many ups and downs, but we succeeded in our journey and all of them have increased their savings and are able to operate by themselves. I am so proud to be the LPL of this program.

Now time to say goodbye and I would like to thank everyone who has followed Dhana Maya.

Sincerely,

Binita Rana

LPL

After waiting nine months my family is finally complete after I gave birth to a second baby boy on 7th July 2019. The 1st of July 2019 was my due date but 5 days later I got the opportunity to be a mother again. Before the delivery we were wishing for a baby girl. But when he was born I changed my mind completely. I first accepted him without knowing the gender because I am a mother. I gave him love and care but his brother was quite sad for few days. After a few days however he was also happy and he also loves his new baby brother. Life is so uncertain, we dont know what is going to happen in the next moment  

I went to the hospital and was admitted because my delivery date was close. Unfortunately we received a call from the village and were told my mother in-law was sick. At that time we were facing other problems. We didnt know what to do if my husband went to the village, who would support me and care for me? We were in a dilemma and stressed but our family supported us. Binita also called me from time to time to ask about my health and she reminded me to have patience. Before giving birth at my regular check up, the doctor said my delivery would be normal, but that turned out to be incorrect. I had to have an operation. For my operation we needed Rs.60,000 but I had saved Rs.30,000 only from my business and through a group loan so we had to spend  Rs.30,000 from my husband‘s savings. My baby was 4.5kg, I dont know why the doctor asked my husband to keep my baby in the ICU for three hours. I also needed to receive blood and when the nurses started to transfuse blood my body started to show an allergic reaction so they stopped. When I knew my baby was normal and all of his reports were normal I was so happy that I started to cry. My husband laughed at me for that but he was also very happy. We stayed in the hospital for 6 days then we went home to organize the naming ceremony. From Nepali culture we received the letterT for the name but our first son‘s name is Dhiraj so, we thought we would name him after him to keep the name meaningful. After a few days Binita came to congratulate us. Nowadays, my husband does all of the household chores like laundry, cleaning and he prepares food for the children and I. I am resting at the moment, taking care of my diet, sanitation and health.  But if we both stay at home who will take care of our expenses? Thats why I am thinking after few days I will send my husband back to work. I do not regret the money spent at the hospital as I will work for my business regularly after my health recovery and I will save that amount again 

This time my happiness and joy is for a different reason. I want to share that happiness with you all. In our Nepali culture most of the people say two children are God’s gift, in my case that became true. My son is grown up and we have always wanted a daughter too, that’s why we planned for second child and why I am pregnant. We don’t know if our wish will be fulfilled but regardless of the gender we will prepare to welcome the baby into our world.

Binita always discussed important topics in the issue based meetings. I learnt many things from those meetings and I apply that knowledge in my behavior regularly. I don’t want my baby to have poor health so I am always concerned about my health and my baby’s health. For good health I always think positive things, have nutritional food, I work with energy and run my business with dedication, walk regularly on foot and always go to hospital for regular checkups. The doctor gave me my expected delivery date in the Nepali month asadh 17th. I am preparing for the arrival of the baby. My husband also came here to support me. I have saved some money from the profit of my business and I took a loan from the group. Binita and my friends gave me the first opportunity to take loan, I want to thank them for that. In total I have collected rs.30,000. My doctor said my health condition is normal that’s why I think that amount is enough for this situation. We are eagerly waiting to welcome our new born baby…

Last time during Binita’s visit I am excited and happy that she has left me with encouragement and challenge to start up the horizontal businesses. Therefore, thanks to Binita to lighting up, inspiring and encouraging me to start up additional business.I went to the market to see the options for starts up the additional business. There is saying that if you work hard result will be good and sweet it applies me exactly like that. After seeking opportunities in some markets I found that one of the big markets wants to buy bulky of market bags. I did not want to miss this opportunity, therefore, I discussed with the manager about the rates of the bag how much do they pay if I prepare a bag for them. The manager informed that they will provide the materials for the bag and each bag they will give 4 rupees as a remuneration I counted that how many bags I can prepare within two hours a day and estimated that I can earn 200-300 rupees extra per day. Therefore as a trial I asked manager to provide necessary materials for 100 bags. While on the way back home with carrying the materials for the bags I was thinking a lot how do I manage time to extra money did I manage to do or not again all of sudden I remember time management training therefore I think myself that this is very important but not urgent if I manage I can do it, yes I can do it.

I was preparing my son for school when I saw Binita coming to my place for a regular visit. When Binita saw I was preparing my son to send him to school, she ask how his education was going.  I  told her that his education and my business is going well. She again asked how I spend my earnings; from sales or from the profit. I have all the records properly done and I am spending from both sales and profit.  Binita stressed that we have to fund our expenses only from profit, not from sales.If we spend our money from the sales for school fees and daily expenses then our businesses will not be sustainable. Therefore, we have to make our business profitable and spend the profit.I was listening carefully and recalling my spending habits but all of myexpenses, including my children’s education is solely dependent on my business which I have told the WAWCAS members many times.  Binita suggested selling more items based on customer demand. I am running a “Ghumto” business and tailoring business simultaneously butBinita suggested I add the handicraft items made by WAWCAS members so that I can earn more. After almost an hour of discussion Binita left, but my mind is thinking about my horizontal business.

I wanted to continue my business, therefore based on the suggestions of my eye doctor I wear my glass regularly. Making a bridal “Ghumto” with a lot of embroidery was difficult for me hence I am making simple bridal “Ghumto” whilst I continue my tailoring business. To improve my tailoring business more effectively I needed to buy an interlock machine. I was dreaming about this machine and I was sure if I had such a machine I would have more customers than before. Whilst I was thinking buying an interlock machine I received a call from Binita asking how I was, and she informed me that she would visit tomorrow. I was so happy when I got her call and shared my thoughts about the interlock machine. She said we should discuss it the next day in detail. The next day Binita came to my shop. I told her I knew I needed to buy the machine, but due to my children’s final exams I had to pay more money than before, so I didn’t have enough money to buy machine. Then she immediately asked me how much money I needed. I informed her that it will cost 15,000 rupees. I had 9.000 rupees but needed 6,000 rupees more. She suggested that I take a group loan but last month I did not made a request for the group loan but Binita again said that if I explained everything to the group they would agree. I felt relieved. In the meeting, I shared my plan. They approved my group loan which was very good. I bought the machine and also got the contract for sewing the “Jananati” dresses which has increased my income. Now I am very satisfied with the improvements in my business. I always think that having to plan and think and change needs to be done based on the situation and then you will get succeed. 

Time goes so fast. It’s been 11 years, I’ve gotten married and my son is almost 5 years old but I did not register my marriage nor my son’s birth.  I never thought that official registrations were very important. I learnt this at our IBT class. During the training, we were told we must register births, deaths and marriages, then it would be easy for a child to enroll in school as well as to get citizenship, as to obtain this you need to show a birth registration certificate. After the training my inner eyes opened and I decided to go back to the village, even though I was there during the Desain festival.We went to the village. Our parents were happy to see us, others were surprised. Why had we come back to the village? I explained and approached the local authorities for certificates. My younger brother–in–law helped me fill out the forms and other necessary documents. I felt really happy when I got the certificates, as if I had won the lottery. I called Binita and told her we had received our birth registration certificates and marriage registration certificate. She was so happy when she heard this she even congratulated me for this work done.

I cannot meet my production plan this year.I am so frustrated, I was planning to earn at least 20,000 rupees more during marriage season but due to my eye problem the doctor did not allow me to make “Ghumtos”. When I saw all of my friends were busy making “Ghumots” I felt so embarrassed. I never thought that this would happen to me; normally I earn more than my friends, but this season I have a limited income, only from tailoring. 

Normally during a saving meeting, I save more than the others. This time I was thinking how do I save even more. But Binita encouraged me to not only think negatively, I should be positive and take care of my eyes so that I can work more. 

She motivates me and says that problems are part of life and to come out from a problem is the art of life. Therefore, I must have patience, rest and take care of my eyes. I feel so cool when I heard such an inspiring thought but still, my thoughts go to making “Ghumots”. I am sure I will be able to make them again next month. 

For every every training, the content and the facilitation style is very different. In our last training, Binita asked us to close our eyes and remember the things that we liked the most during our childhoods.

 I recalled my childhood and remembered how we played with a doll made from old clothes. Also we made food from soil and sand and pretended we were eating together. Those days were so wonderful.  

Binita asked us to close our eyes again and recall the things that we didn’t like. I didn’t want to remember, however all of a sudden the flashbacks came like a horror movie. 

Due to our financial condition, we never got any toys to play with and I liked to play ball. We could not find any old clothes to make a ball, therefore we played ball with a stone. While we were playing our stone ball smashed into my older brother’s leg. After that my mother beat me. I just don’t want to think about that again. 

Binita tells us that as children no one likes it when someone beats us or scolds us and we like to be praised and encouraged. When we became parents we totally forgot how we felt during our childhood. Every parent wants to make their child happy, but wanting is not enough, it depends on how we behave with them. If we plant maize, we cannot harvest rice, it will be maize, just as a child’s development totally depends upon how we treat them. 

It was also discussed in the class some dos and don’ts with children. I was amazed to learn these very helpful topics. The training was full of learning, commitment and enjoyment. 

After a few days, Binita came to my place to see how I had changed my behaviors. I was eager to share my behavior towards my child after the training. Before, whenever I was going somewhere I never informed to my child, instead I always hid because I thought that if he saw me he would never allow me to go outside. In the training we learnt that we have to tell our children so they will know when we are going and when we are coming back. In the beginning it was difficult, but later on, he happily allowed me to go outside without him.

There is one most important thing I must share with you. I don’t beat my child normally; I used to beat him only when he made mistakes. I can notice very clearly whenever I encourage or praise him, he feels so proud and smiles. It makes me so happy to see his smiling face.

We decided to go to our village Solukhmbu to celebrate the big festival Dashain. I felt so happy to be going but knew I would have to manage a lot of things such as shopping for our parents and relatives. When they heard we were coming to the village they were so excited to see us.

Everywhere was crowded and everyone looked so excited to get to their destinations, seeing this I also felt so good and wanted to reach home soon. After 15 hours of traveling we finally reached our home. Everyone was so excited to meet us and discuss with us because they knew that I had started my business and that I am an active member of the WAWCAS group. I explained what I am doing and how I am learning via training and discussions. They told me that I looked different in many ways, that I seem more confident and less shy compared to previous years and that I also look graceful.  I was so happy and proud of myself.

My elder sister-in-law asked many questions regarding the WAWCAS program. She also asked if it is possible to get the WAWCAS program to our village. I smiled first and responded that everyone has to start a business and send their children to the school but the market might be a problem, who will buy? She looked thoughtful. I also informed her that I don’t know the process or criteria for implementing the program in Solukhumbu.

My parents and relatives were so happy after receiving gifts from me, this was only possible due to my business. During the Dashin we played cards and ate lots of meat and food. My son loved to fly kites. Due to our business, we decided to leave but my parents and in-laws asked me to wait until after Tihar. We promised them to visit next year for Dashin and then we will stay until Tihar.  

We came back to Kathmandu with lots of good feelings and thoughts.

Nothing is impossible if you have guts. I have started my business making “Ghumtos” for brides.
Marriage season is off for one month but will start again from mid-November, therefore, there is not much demand.
I immediately decided to learn to tailor so that I can expand my business.

Therefore, I asked a WAWCAS team member Bimala, to join the training together with me. Bimala and I have joined a training center to learn to tailor and we paid 700 rupees for it. Every day we got three hours of training. After the training I made Ghumtos as usual. I was a bit scared about my Ghumto making business therefore I gave myself 100% to learn tailoring.
My trainer was so happy with how fast I learnt tailoring. Within the three-month training period, I learned a lot.

During the business visit, Binita is always encouraging and providing positive vibes to me which has really helped me a lot. During her last visit, she noticed that I was a bit mismanaged therefore she reminded me how to manage time and do so calmly. I always appreciate her visits and suggestions.

After the training, I bought a new sewing machine with excitement, but after when I looked in my purse there was not enough money left. I was questioning how I would be able to buy food. There is a saying “commit yourself to do good things, then God will always fulfill your wish”. I thought of this and within an hour a customer came, and everything was solved.

I am so happy that I have two businesses simultaneously. During the day I am sewing and in the evenings I make “Ghumtos” which makes me happy and not tired even though I work 12 hours per day.

I was very much excited to participate the first IBT training. The discussion started with a new style asking the question what we had in dinner last night and breakfast in the morning after sharing from each woman Binita shared that normally we understand nutritious food as the expensive meat and fish products But, we are unaware about the nutrition values of the food available in our own locality. The child doesn’t get enough attention and isn’t fed food of balanced nutrition. ”Nutrition is defined as a well-balanced nutritious diet necessary for our body”. We cannot survive without food. If we eat the right proportion with the right and balanced nutrition values, we will be stronger and more active. Our stamina also increases and our mind becomes capable of making better decisions. A person who is weak from the childhood turns out to be weak and sick, both physically and mentally, when he/she grows into an adult. So, the consumption of balanced and nutritious diet should be taken into consideration from an early age. Balanced and nutritious diet is very necessary for the physical and mental well-being of a person. The three groups of food should be consumed in balanced quantity to be healthy.

The food that we generally eat (Dal, Bhat and vegetables) is also nutritious. But, we tend to eat more rice, and less pulse gravy and vegetables. The amount of consumption of the pulse gravy and the vegetables should be increased so that our diet can be balanced. Flat breads are also equally beneficial. It is better to consume different types of pulse gravy and vegetables rather than consuming the same thing every day. It is also good to use ghee or oil in the vegetables or the pulse gravy as it also provides necessary nutrients for our body. Seasonal and locally available green leafy vegetables, beans, pulses, fruits, should also be consumed. It would be more economical to plant such foods on your own vegetable garden.

The three categories of food, energy giving foods, body building foods and protective foods eaten in right amount is considered as healthy or good food.

Energy giving foods:Carbohydrates such rice, wheat, maize, barley, potatoes, sweet-potatoes, sugarcane, and sugars, ghee (clarified butter), oil, etc. provide us energy. These foods act as a fuel for our body and provide us energy so that we can do our work.

Body building foods: Pulse, peas, beans, nuts, milk, curd, fish, meat, eggs, etc. help in the building process of our body. It is responsible for the fast recovery from tissue damage and the normal growth of the body.

Protective foods:Different types of vitamins and minerals fall under this category. Some of the examples are spinach, carrot, radish, pumpkin, gourd, tomatoes, papaya, orange, guava, lime, lemon, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, mango, etc. Such type of foods strengthens our immunity and protects us from diseases.

Food from all the above groups should be consumed to be healthy. Our body requires 20% protein out of which 12% is produced by our own body. The rest 8% is obtained from food. If we fail to consume that 8% protein, the rest 12% will not be produced either.

While I was going back home on the way I was thinking I should share these information to our friends and relatives as well because I know they don’t eat the food from three different catagories.

 

After three days of the 7 day training, my subcommittee friends and I went to the bigmarket centerto buymaterials to start our businesses.The market is quite far away (around 12km) from my home. When we reached the market center we were very surprised, we had never been there before.  I was very curious and nervous, I am not sure why, but my heart was beating very fast. I was also remembering that during the training we were told that before buying anything we should check the prices ofat least two to three places. Therefore, we visited many placesto get the bestprice and we bought many of the needed materials to start up our businesses. Time goes so fast, we spent 5 hours in the market center. We felt tired and hungry as well but we decided to go back without eating anything at the market. Going back home with all the materials gave us energy and encouragement, we were starting our own businesses that same day! I was thinking a lot while going back by bus, due to heavy traffic jam it took longer than expected but my newfound energy remained the same.

The next day, before I started working I prayed to God and asked for a successful business making “ghumtos” (this is a veryspecial thing made by transparent material with lots of beads and Sitarawhich brides have to wear during their marriage ceremony) Every day I can make 4 to 5 “ghumtos” and for each “ghumto” I get 200 to 300 rupees as a salary so each day my earnings are 1000 to 1500 rupees, which is very good income. Before when I worked with others as a seamstress I got only 55 rupees as wagesfor each “ghumto” made.

I was making “ghumtos”when Binitacame. She was very happy to see me making “ghumtos”. I shared with her that I was so proud to be a business woman.

 

I was very excited, but nervous about the 7 day training. My mind was not stable, I was constantly thinking about the training. Will I learn anything, how will the training be? What will happen? On the first day of the training I arrived with my friends one hour earlier than the scheduled time.

Binita started the training with a warm welcome and stuck different pictures on our backs. The room was filled with laughter. How do we find our partner? We couldn’t see the picture on our backs. Binita told us that we had to ask for help from  our friends to find out what picture we had and then find our partners. After finding our partner, Binita informed us that we had to discuss what behavior we like and dislike and what we are afraid of. I never think this way, so it took a while to share with my partner.

Each and every session was meaningful, relevant and I learnt a lot. I will never forget the importance of each of us present in the training, meeting through puzzle games and most importantly I learnt  about minimizing unnecessary expenses through PCA. I have therefore decided to save more by minimizing unnecessary expenses and I will save that money for my sons’ education. It was amazing how quickly seven days passed. This training was so fruitful, my confidence grew and it was much more beneficial than I first expected. 

I realized that to wait for something is difficult, but I must say that patience brings many positive dimensions to my life. After “the initial information sharing meeting”, Binitavisited me many times, to have a detailed discussion on various issues about what I am doing? What would Ilike to do? During these home visits,I feel quite good talking with Binitaand I feel that we have good intimacy and understanding of each other now.

During one of the home visit,Binitainformed me that another meeting “Situational analysis and indicator development meeting” will be held the next Monday at 11 am.  I was assuming, that it may be a meeting where we should discuss the rates of the materials.

But while participating inthe meeting, it showed up being totally different. During “Situational analysismeeting” Binita informed that before implementation of any programs,it should be aware and important to know, what are the real situation in the group in terms of children’s situation, women’s situation, health’s situation, local resources and mobilization. We should know where we are now and what our desired situation is. We identified many issues, such as many women including me don’t have a marriagecertificate, no birth registration of our children, husbands are not supporting, and violence wasidentified. I was thinking to myself, how I register my marriage and my child’s birth registration.

Indicators are those changes the group members would like to see in themselves and their lives within the next 6 to 12 months’ time.  Indicators should be prepared on the SMARTbasis. I never thought of these things, they were beyondmy imagination. Every training/meeting energized my inner feeling and I am eagerly waiting fornext training.

I am Dhan Maya Magar. Seven years ago we came to Kathmandu from Solukhumbu hopingto get regular work and earn money. But getting regular work is difficult.  We rented a room in Kapan. Everything is expensive, it is not like in the village where we don’t have tobuy everything. In our village we could grow vegetables but here we need to buy everything. My husband’s income was not enough to survive on, so he went to Saudi to earn money. 2 years ago I came to know about the WAWCAS program through Sabita who is a member of WAWCAS and has a restaurant. Sarika and Binitaalso made a home visit and discussed the program. The programseemed effective but I thought I would get money from my husband so I did not participate in thewell-being ranking or other activities. Binita and Sarika tried to convince me but I did not participate in further activities.

Sabita shared a lotof good thingsabout the program and the team, they are very positive, supportive and always uplifting. I had noticed Sabita’s business and how much she earnedfrom her business. My husband was not sending money so it was very difficult to survive.  It wasn’t possible for me to get a loan, so I went to Sabita’s restaurant to see if it would be possible to become a WAWCAS member.

The next day I received a call from Binita and we made an appointment to discuss further. That evening I was questioning what I should say to them. Binita and Sarika came to my place. Binitaasked many questions such as why did I want to be a member of WAWCAS now and they also shared some of the stories of the women in WAWCAS. While they were sharing this information, I got lost somewhere in my thoughts because I was listening carefully but also connecting to last time and I felt guilty, but I committed myself to be a member of WAWCAS and start my own business.

 

Hi, I am BinitaRana working as an LPLsince March 2014. During the 7 days training of group number 24, Sabita brought food for the training participants. Sabita informed me about Dhana Maya who wanted to be a member of WAWCAS again. I was quite surprised, after two years she wants to be a member again? However it was good news for us therefore, we visited and discussed it with her. After the discussion we had with her I am visualizing her changing her life. I am encouraging and motivating her to take active participation in the program and from now on I will write updates based on interviews/discussions with her. I am sure you will enjoy reading her positive changes and her ups and downs experiences.

Meet the women

3

Dil Maya

One of the best things I have realized is that being busy helps us to become positive and happy, and have a goal-oriented life

4

Ram Kumari

Now, I also have the courage to start one more business, and I believe that I will be a good example to other women in my society

2

Sharada Pariyar

My name is Sharada Pariyar and I live in Shreemanjyang Ward No. 3 with my three kids (one son and two daughters) and husband. I dream about starting my own business.