Krishna Maya Mahat
I am Krishna Maya Mahat. I am 37 years old. My husband passed away 5 years ago. From that day on I took over all responsibility for our family. We have a very small plot of land, but it’s not enough food for my family. Hopefully, with the help of the WAWCAS program, this will change.
Thinking about the present situation, I am doing well with my business, since everything is slowly moving back to normal life. Even though the outside world seems normal, I have still been following the precautionary measures against Covid-19 which I have learnt in the IBT Training from Sajan. I have been wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance whenever I leave the house and use public transport.
Today I am going to share my diary writing experience after having joined the WAWCAS team. Before joining the WAWCAS team, I really did not know what a diary was used for. On the second last day of the “7-Days Training”, everyone, including me, got an individual diary. Then Sajan explained to everyone the importance of a diary and what it is used for. Since that day I have been writing in the diary. I have kept’s a record of my monthly expenses and income in my diary, which really helped me analyzing my expenses and income. It also helped me to reduce the unnecessary expenses. Similarly, I have also written down the daily activities that I have been doing, before going to bed. It really helped me to reflect on the day’s activities. I have never allocated the time before, but after having learned about the importance of diary writing, I have been giving myself 10 minutes every day to review and reflect on the day. Nowadays, I feel relaxed after having expressed my feelings in the diary.
Every three months I have also been filling in the SWOT and PCA forms in the diary as well, which helps me to analyze and reflect on my behaviors. Filling in the PCA form helps me to reduce and control unnecessary expenses. I am very grateful to the WAWCAS program for showing me the right path and providing me with the knowledge. Without the help from the WAWCAS program and support from Sajan, I would never have been able to change myself and my life. So once again, thank you for your help and support.
I am currently doing well with my business since everything is slowly moving back to normal life. Even though the outside world seems normal, I have still been following the precautionary measures against Covid-19 which I have learnt in IBT Training from Sajan. I have been wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing whenever I travel outside and use public transport.
Today I am going to share my experience learning about the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat (SWOT) analysis. During the first 3 months of 1st Impl. I had so many weaknesses and bad behaviors such as weak economic condition, no eagerness to learn, shyness, short tempered, smoking, laziness, spendthrift etc. After looking at my SWOT form, Sajan told me that I need to improve my weaknesses and should reduce the bad behaviors. We also discussed the different techniques for reducing the bad behaviors and improving my weaknesses. He also informed me that he would come to my home after three months to discuss the SWOT to see if I am improving my weaknesses or not. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown and Covid-19 situation he was not able to visit my home, but I was still glad that he called me on the phone, and I could update him on how I was doing with my SWOT analysis. I told him that I was doing well with my SWOT and informed him that I have improved some of my weaknesses such as my spendthrift habit, I feel less shy and I have reduced the number of cigarettes I smoke.
He also asked me to reduce my other weakness too. After spending almost one year in the WAWCAS team I have improved most of my weaknesses. My financial condition has also improved since I have sold 2 goats and I have also bought one small calf to expand my business.
The lesson that I have learnt from this exercise was that at first, we should analyze ourselves rather than analyzing other people. In our lives we will all experience the four stages, i.e. Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. Everyone has good behaviors and bad behaviors. Similarly, in everyone’s life at some point an opportunity or threat will also present itself while carrying out business. Therefore, in summary, the main thing I learned from this exercise was that we should always improve and increase good behaviors in ourselves i.e. strength, and we should always reduce and slowly remove the bad behaviors i.e. weakness. Likewise, we should always grab the opportunities at the right time, and we should always tackle the hurdles that comes on our lives while carrying out our business.
Lastly I would like to thank the WAWCAS Organization and Sajan for teaching us this very useful exercise.
Well, talking about my present situation, I am doing well with my business since everything is slowly moving back to normal life. Even though the outside world seems normal, I have still been following the precaution routines against Covid-19, which I have learned during the IBT Training from Sajan. I have been wearing a mask, whenever I travel and use public transportation.
As our biggest festival, Dashain, is coming soon, I have sold my two goats for purchasing required food ingredients and materials for my family. After selling my goats at a good price, I bought all the necessary items for Dashain. My elder son arrived to the village a week before Dashain. He is staying in Kathmandu studying and working. My younger son stays with me, and he helps me with my business and other household works. Talking about Dashain celebration this year, it went quite differently than previous years due to Covid-19 situation. Celebrating Dashian the previous years, our family used to go to our relatives’ home for putting Tika and getting blessing from the older family members. We also used to invite our relatives to our home for putting Tika and spending quality time with the family. This year it was totally different. We didn’t go to our relatives’ home, and we did not invite them to our home for the Tika. This year we decided to celebrate only with our family members, i.e. my two sons, my father in-law, and me. On theday of Dashian, Bijayadashami, the oldest member of our family – my father in-law – put tika and gave blessing to me and my two sons. Likewise, I also put tika and gave blessing to my two sons. After finishing the “Tika Ceremony” it was time for the delicious feast which included a lot of meat. This is how I celebrated this year’s Dashain with my family. It was not as funny as previous years because I couldn’t meet my relatives, and I could not invite them to my home. But after all our health always has first priory. Therefore, I didn’t feel very sad for not meeting my relatives in this Dashain.
The Pocket Chart Analysis (PCA) form was first filled out on the 3rd day of the seven days of training. Before filling out the form, Sajan told me about its importance and impact on our daily lives. When I first heard about its importance, it really touched me. I have been buying so many products for my household and business, but I have never kept a record of it. The lesson I learned from this exercise was that we should always keep a record of the products we buy or sell in our diary which the Slisha Organization had provided us with on the second last day of training.
Secondly, another lesson that I learned from this exercise was that we should control unnecessary expenses such as alcohol, cigarettes etc. I like this exercise very much because at the end of the month I was able to compare my expenses and income. If my expenses are greater than my income, I must control the unnecessary expenses. Another good thing about this exercise was that I can show the record to my family members and show what I have spent, and what I have sold to generate income, so there is transparency to everyone in the family.
Sajan informed us to write down every transaction in our diary. He also informed us that he would come to our home and discuss our financial situation and will fill in the Pocket Chart Analysis Form. Every three months he came to my home specifically to discuss my financial status and to fill in the PCA form. After seeing my monthly expenses and income, he suggested that I try to control my expenses to unnecessary products such as alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco etc. After keeping all the records, I can control unnecessary expenses, which has helped to increase my savings. I have reduced my expenses on average by Rs.2000 per month by controlling unnecessary expenses. Last but not least, I would like to thank the Slisha Organization and Sajan for teaching us this very useful exercise.
When thinking about the present situation, I am confused. People are saying so many different things about COVID-19. I really do not know how things will develop and what will happen… how will this COVD-19 end? I am engaging in my small piece of land, harvesting rice and raising my goats, but I really do not know how this situation will end.
Our government has finally ended the lockdown, and slowly the situation is going back to normal. The local shops have reopened, and public transportation has resumed. We are talking about the COVID-19 situation of my country. Even though the lockdown has ended, the number of infected patients has been increasing rapidly and the number of dead people is increasing. Therefore, whenever I leave my village, I put on my mask and maintain a social distance. After reaching my destination, I wash my hands with soap and water. Whenever I meet with my WAWCAS group members in my village, we often talk about the current situation of COVID-19 and its safety measures and precautions we have learned before lockdown in IBT Training. To be honest, COVID-19 has taught us many good things, especially regarding personal hygiene.
Since our major festival “Dashain” is approaching, I am planning to sell my goats and from that money I will purchase the required food items for the festival. But I do not see any festive mood/flavor in my area. Everyone is waiting for things to return to normal as before COVID-19.
Due to the COVID -19 situation, my son is staying with me, and he is helping me with my business and farming too. Hopefully, he will return to Kathmandu after the festival and continue studying. The daily required food commodities are available again after the lockdown. The vitamins and medicine for my goats is also accessible. My goats are healthy and have grown quite big, and I am also planning to buy some baby goats to extend my business after Dashain. Regarding my small piece of land, I have planted rice about three months back, and now it is almost ready for harvesting. We have removed weeds four times so far, and we will be harvesting our rice after Dashain. Thanks to Sajan who is always supporting and visiting us.
I was wondering when our meetings would be held, but I felt relaxed, because Sajan called me every week asking for any updates and told me that our meeting was postponed. He also informed me that the meeting would be held, once the lockdown comes to an end. Finally, after about four months, I was informed that we would have our meeting this month (July). The meeting was held as per our regular schedule. While we were waiting, Sajan called us and told us that Sajan and Pabitra would arrive late, because they were stuck on the way due to the landslide and flood, so they had no other option than walking. After almost two hours, they arrived at the meeting. Before starting the meeting, Sajan asked us all how we were and told us that he was very happy to see us all safe. Since most of us had not put on masks, he requested that we wore masks at meetings and when leaving our homes. Before conducting the meeting, he asked all of us to maintain a social distance, so we sat one meter from each other. Since we were 27 people, Sajan asked us to split up in two groups to maintain a social distance, so that Pabitra and Sajan could run the meetings smoothly and systematically. During the meeting, we discussed how we can collect food packages from the ward office and collect wild fruits and vegetables. Sajan also told us to pay our installment as per our capacity, since most of us are going through a hard time during the pandemic. The meeting proceeded quite smoothly, as I had expected. I felt happy to meet my all friends and Sajan after such a long time.
I feel grateful towards Sajan and Pabitra for their hard work and for carrying out the meeting during this difficult situation, because we needed this meeting to take place. After the meeting was finished, we wished them a safe journey, because they had to walk two hours to get back.
After the meeting I felt good and had more energy. I was discussing with my group members on the way back home how we got a lot of inspiration from Sajan, and we learned to be accountable.
During lockdown, I, together with the members of my family, implemented all the measures that we learned in the IBT training, so that we are safe and staying healthy in our villages. But sometimes when I hear the news about the corona virus, and the impact it has on our country, I feel scared because the number of infected people is rapidly increasing, and so far, three people have already died in our country.
Reflecting on the current situation for myself, I am not frightened and scared like before. My family and me are mostly busy planting corn and some vegetables on our small land. So far, my goats look healthy, as I have been providing them fresh grass from the nearby jungle. I have been talking about the current situation with my friends and relatives, and some of them are still scared of the corona virus, because the number of infected people is increasing day by day in our country and all over the world. Due to the strict lockdown by the government, we are not able to get some essential food products and vitamins for our goats in the community shops, but somehow, we are managing by utilizing the locally available resources that we have in our community. Many of my relatives and our group members are planting the crops and vegetables on their land, and whenever we meet in the village, we often talk about preventive measures for the corona virus which we learned in the IBT training. Sajan tells us that everything has a positive and negative aspect. What do I see as a positive impact of this corona virus and lockdown? I think our patience has increased, and I am trying to think more positively. We also do more cleaning which is very good for our health. When I hear the news, my energy level falls, and therefore I do not listen to the news in the morning. Our municipality distribute food packages which is very good for the needy, like us.
I would like to thank Sajan for contacting me every week. I feel so good after having talked to him.
The first time I heard about corona virus was in the “HIV IBT” training which was conducted by Sajan just before the lock-down. In the training Sajan explained to us what HIV and AIDS is, how it can be transmitted from one person to another, its major and minor symptoms, the differences between HIV and AIDS, and it’s preventive measures. The training was very helpful.
Finally, Sajan also informed us about the emerging virus that had been slowly spreading in the world. The name of the virus was “corona virus” and he told us that this virus was first seen in China. The virus had been transmitted from birds and animals to humans and is a highly communicable disease. It can be transmitted via different medium; through air, water, handshakes and hugs with an infected person etc. Then he also explained about the different symptoms of corona virus such as a dry cough, common cold, tiredness, fever, difficulty breathing etc. At the end of the training, he explained to us the different preventive measures to avoid corona virus, such as maintaining a social distance of at least 1 meter or 3 feet, washing our hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, covering our nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when we cough or sneeze and not touching our eyes, nose, or mouth if our hands are not clean. He also informed us that there has been no vaccine developed so far. Therefore he suggested we take care of ourselves and stay safe.
Hearing about this dangerous virus, at first I was really frightened and scared. Slowly, after getting all the information on this virus and its preventive measures, I felt less scared. After a few days, the government announced a lockdown to control and prevent the spreading of the corona virus in the country. My son who was in Kathmandu returned just before the lockdown. The lockdown has lasted for almost 1 month now and we still don’t know how long it will continue. During the first stage of lockdown all of my family members including me stayed inside our home for a few days. I shared the information about corona virus which I had learned in the IBT Training with all of my family members and asked them to practice the preventive measures in their daily lives. Then I also stored some necessary food items such as rice, lentils, oil, salt, sugar etc. and cut a large amount of grass for my goats. Slowly the days have been passing and somehow life is moving forward in this hard time. After staying inside our home for a few weeks, we gradually emerged to plant some corn and vegetables. The biggest challenge that I have faced during this lockdown is the prices of food which has increased and it is difficult to get vitamins and food for my goats besides grass. With the current situation, I am not frightened and scared like before. My family and I are mostly busy on our small plot of land planting corn and vegetables. For my friends and relatives, with the current situation some are still scared of the corona virus, as the number of infected people is increasing day by day in our country and all over the world. Therefore most of them have engaged in self-quarantine in their own homes. They have also stored some basic necessary food ingredients such as rice, lentils, oil, salt, sugar etc. as we do not know how long the lockdown will continue. Many of my relatives and our group members have started planting crops and vegetables on their land and whenever we meet in the village, we often talk about preventive measures which we learned in the IBT training.
I would like to thank Sajan for contacting me every week I feel so good after talking with him.
I was curious when Sajan told me that we would be having two Information Sharing Meetings (ISM) every month. At the same time, I was curious and excited for our first Issued Based Training (IBT). The topic of our first IBT meeting was “Sanitation”. To start, Sajan asked us what we knew about sanitation and we shared our knowledge. After hearing from us, Sajan explained what sanitation is and described the importance of sanitation. We had heard this term often before, but when Sajan explained its importance in detail, we realized it is a very serious issue and we must pay attention to it.
From this training, we also gained knowledge about the different non-communicable and communicable diseases, how they transmit from one person to another and the precautions. Talking about this at the first IBT meeting, it was a great learning experience for me because I gained detailed information about sanitation and the communicable and non-communicable diseases. At the end of the meeting, Sajan told all of us to practice all the learnings in our daily life and to share our knowledge with our family members and relatives.
The 7-day training and the 4-day livestock training were successfully conducted and were very educational for me on how to run my business smoothly. I was overwhelmed after the two trainings. My mind and body were full of positive thoughts and learnings. After receiving the seed money, I was excited to start my new business; goat farming. Right after the completion of the 7-day training, I bought 2 healthy mother goats and built a new shed with the help of my relatives. I tried to build a modern shed which I had learnt in the 4-day livestock training. Building the shed took almost a whole day.
The next day, I went to a nearby market to buy all the required necessities and food for my goats. I also bought some vitamins for my goats. After all the preparation was completed, I moved my goats into the shed. Every morning, I go and cut nutritious grass for my goats so they can be healthy and grow faster. I am grateful for the Slisha Organization for providing the required seed money and teaching me all of the required business knowledge for running my new business on my own.
I was eagerly awaiting the 4-day Livestock Training of the WAWCAS program as I have never attended such a training. The first day of training was conducted by Sudesh and Rachana. In the first day of training we learned mainly about goat farming. First, we learned about the different types of goats which are available locally and internationally and then we learned about the history of goats and their purpose in our daily lives. After that we learned about the different types of diseases and their treatment. We also learned about making the modern shed for our livestock and its proper management. And at the end of the training, all of us received goat farming manuals which contains everything we learned on the first day.
The second day of training was also conducted by Sudesh and Rachana. In the second day of training we mainly learned about poultry, buffalo and pig farming. First, we learned about the different types of hens and chickens available locally and internationally and then we learned about their history and purpose in our daily lives. After that we learned about the different types of diseases and their local treatment. And at the end of the training, all of us received the poultry farming manuals which contains everything we learned on the second day.
The third day of training was conducted by YCT students from the Agriculture Campus in Lamjung. The third day of training mostly contained knowledge about modern agriculture. We learned about new technologies and strategies of mushroom farming and organic seasonal vegetable farming. After that we learned about the occurrence of different diseases in vegetables and their local remedies.
The fourth day of Training was also conducted by YCT students. The fourth day of training mostly addressed the new strategy of making organic compost manure from locally available resources. We even made the organic compost manure during the training which was fun and easy.
The four-day Livestock Training was fruitful, and it will help me run my business. The goat farming manual that we got during the training is also helpful and useful for running our business smoothly on a long-term basis. After pursuing this training, I will be implementing all the learnings in my business therefore, I feel really lucky and grateful to be a WAWCAS group member.
I was eagerly awaiting the 7-day WAWCAS training as I have never attended any training in my life. I was a little excited and scared at the same time because everything was new and the first time for me. Finally, the first day of training came. The first day of training started with a new method of introduction; picture matching. I like this method of introduction very much and I find it unique too because generally whenever we introduce ourselves, we say our name, address, profession and so on. In the picture matching method of introduction, first I needed to find the other person that had the same picture as me. After finding my partner we needed to learn about each other so that when our turn came for the introduction, I introduced my partner first and then they introduced me to the rest of the group. From this method of introduction what I liked most was that I made a new friend and that I got to know her as well as her likes and dislikes.
Generally, I found the 7-day WAWCAS training very rewarding and productive. All of the content and topics of the training were really useful and directly relevant to our daily activities. Among the different games played in training, I liked the color touching game very much. It was really fun and the lesson of the game was really impressive and touched me. The lesson that I learned was that we all have the qualities and resources within ourselves to do better in life, but we never look at ourselves. Instead we always look to others, what they are doing and we follow them. Therefore, from now on we must explore the qualities and resources within ourselves, utilize them and move on.
Another rewarding topic for me was the business plan. Filling out the form helped me to get the roadmap of my business that I am going to start soon. During the preparation of the plan, I also learned about the profit and loss of my business. Finally, on the last day of training, I got the seed money that I requested earlier for goat farming. I will use this seed money for my business.
I would like to thank the WAWCAS team for conducting such a wonderful training and helping me both socially and economically. And I am looking forward to seeing what I learn next.
I was eagerly awaiting the next meeting after I was selected into the WAWCAS team. Finally, the day which I was waiting for had come. The meeting was quite different than the previous ones. In the previous meeting, Sajan had informed me about the Slisha Organization and the WAWCAS program in detail, but at this meeting we reflected on economic status. Sajan asked us about the indicators of ultra-poor, poor and medium poor. We never think about it, therefore I didn’t know what to say. Sajan gave the example that if you are sick and you don’t have money for treatment. Then all of the WAWCAS women were talking to each other and I was thinking to myself that I belong to the ultra-poor no doubt. Then we had to define the indicators of ultra-poor, poor, medium poor and not poor in detail and put our names up according to our economic status. He also asked for suggestions on how to upgrade and improve our present economic status after joining the WAWCAS team. I found this meeting more effective and fruitful because in this meeting I got the chance to realize and reflect on my economic status which I had never done before.
Moreover, in this meeting, I realized my sources of income and also sources of expenses. Due to more expenses than income, I was in debt and my economic condition, as well as relation withmy family members was worsening day by day. I still remember when my husband used to scold and treat me badly and our children were dissatisfied with me because I was not able to fulfill their needs. Now, I am hoping to start a new business from the seed money given to me and I hope I will fulfill all the needs of my children and will maintain the good social and economic relation in my family.
I am Krishna Maya Mahat. I am 37 years old. There are three people in my family. My son, my father-in-law and me. My husband passed away 5 years ago. From that day on I took over all responsibility for our family which is quite tough and stressful. My father-in-law cannot work anymore due to his age.
We have a very small plot of land from which we can hardly survive for 2 months so it’s not enough food for my family. Therefore, I have to work with other people’s land on a daily basis.
I heard about Slisha’s WAWCAS program from my community friends. I liked the sound of the program very much and I really wanted to join the WAWCAS Group but unfortunately my house is situated at Bhanu Ward No.7, so I was a bit sad since this program was for Ward No.10 community members. My friends from Ward No.10 encouraged me and suggested I join the 2nd information sharing meeting so I could express my interest in joining the group. Even though my house is just on the border in Ward No.7, I buy all necessities from Ward No. 10 and I am really close and familiar with all the community members of ward No.10.
So, I joined the 2nd Information Sharing Meeting and expressed my interest in joining the WAWCAS Group. I also mentioned to Sajan that my house is just slightly outside Ward No.10, in Ward No.7. Sajan told me that he would speak to the Team Leader and would let me know at the next meeting.
Finally, the next meeting was held and there Sajan told me that I could join the group. When I heard this good news from Sajan, I was very happy and excited. After the meeting was finished, Sajan visited my house. He talked with my father-in-law and my son. He informed them about the WAWCAS program, observed the condition of house and also asked me about my relationship with my father in-law and son. After getting all the information he required, he told me to join the upcoming meetings regularly.
Meanwhile, I had mixed feelings and was still in doubt whether I would get a chance to join the WAWCAS group or not. The next meeting was scheduled for 5 days later. Sajan also informed me that my story would be published monthly, and anyone can read it on the Internet. I am happy but still don’t understand how.
I was eagerly waiting for the next meeting and 5 days felt like 5 months to me.
My name is Sajan Shakya and I have been working as a Local Program Leader (LPL) in the WAWCAS Program for 1 year in the Tanahun district. I am writing the Blog of Krishna Maya Mahat. The condition of her house is really poor. The changes I have envisioned for her is that she will utilize the seed money very well in her business and I hope she will make a good profit out of it which will help reduce her hardship and improve her economic condition. I will be writing her blog for 16 months on 16 different topics. I am sure you will be reading about her ups and downs in this 16-month period.
Sajan Shakya, Local Program Leader, Tanahun District