I had some thoughts about our meetings. When would Corona allow us to have the next meeting? Ram Maya and the other women in my WAWCAS group were often in my thoughts. Then I received a call from Ram Maya that a meeting was scheduled for the Wednesday to come. I felt so good, that I could now meet all the other women again, even though we were very busy with the rice plantation. I felt so good when I heard that the meeting would take place soon.
Tuesday I worked till late in the evening to finish most of the work, as I needed to go to the WAWCAS meeting on Wednesday. My husband was teasing me the whole day asking me where I got my energy from. I did not say anything to him. I just recalled how he was against me being a member of the WAWCAS group. If he had allowed me to be a member of the WAWCAS group from the very beginning, I might have changed a lot financially and socially in our life long ago. But things happened the way they did. The past is the past. I have to learn from the past and move forward. This I have learned from the WAWCAS training. Actually, this year is a golden year for me, because I have become a part of WAWCAS, and I have started my own business. But due to Corona, I feel very uncomfortable at the moment.
This WAWCAS program has opened my eyes, and I am very happy about that. Now my confidence has increased, and I talk to my children about how they feel. They now share things with me. Before they never shared with me what happened in their lives or how they felt. During the WAWCAS training I learned how to behave towards my children, some do’s and don’ts. It has helped me very much. One of the most memorable events was a visit to Nawalparasi together with all the WAWCAS women from my group including Ram Maya. We visited Nawalparasi and learned about the dragon fruit, which I bought for my family.
We learned a lot through fun and discussions. The training we received was so good and fruitful. We never felt tired or bored during the training. My husband has changed a lot. He is very supportive now. Ram Maya was always motivating and encouraging him to change. During the lock down period, Ram Maya was calling us to ask how we were doing, which I liked very much. From that time, I feel Ram Maya is my own younger sister.
I feel so good. Thank you so much Ram Maya who has always been with me on my journey. She shared with me, and she has been writing my story.
This will be my last story, and I would like to give my thanks to all of you who have followed my journey with WAWCAS.
Now it is time to say goodbye on behalf of Sharada and myself. I hope you have enjoyed to read the story of Sharada – her feelings, learnings, insights and changes. I can see how much Sharada’s life has been changed and how her husband has changed too.
Due to the Covid19 situation it is not easy, but we are moving on as always. Thank you.
Ram Maya Magar
I have been eagerly waiting for this day to come, and now it is the day for our exploring visit to Chitwan.
The night before I could not sleep, because I was so excited about the visit. I woke up early in the morning and completed my household duties. Then I prepared tea for my sleeping husband and children. I woke them up, and we drank a cup of tea together. I asked my husband to follow me to the bus station, because it was still dark outside. I was worried that we were late to the bus, but then I saw my two friends waiting at the station. I was happy to see them, and I knew that I was in time for the bus. I said goodbye to my husband, and he left after dropping me off.
After half an hour of waiting, all our WAWCAS members arrived with good energy. We all took the bus, and it was so good to travel with all the members of our WAWAS group. Some of my friends started to sing a song. One of our friends brought a “madal” (local music instrument), and she started to play. Everyone was singing and dancing. Then all of a sudden the bus stopped, and we asked why the bus stopped. The driver said that we had arrived at Chitwan. We got out of the bus and followed the plan we had made. We started visiting the Maulakali Temple, which I have never seen before. On the way to the temple, I saw a new kind of fruit. I asked my friends and Ram Maya what the fruit was called. They did not know the name of the fruit. We all gathered and aked the owner of the shop. The owner told us that the fruit was called a “Star fruit”. We all decided to buy the fruit to taste it. I liked the fruit so much, that I decided to buy five more for my children and husband.
After the visit to the temple, we took a photo of our group, and after that we all had a very nice lunch. The entire group had the dish called Dalbhat with mutton curry. After lunch, we took the bus to visit the CG Village. CG Industrial Park (CGIP) is Nepal’s first very modern industrial village located at Nawalparasi district, 23 kilometres west of Narayanghat. It was a very huge place, and I was totally confused about what we were doing there. Afterwards, I was told that one of the major businessmen, Mr. Chaudhary, developed this CG village in Chitwan, where we can see many developments.
They have many companies there, and it was too much for me. I was looking. They also contribute many things to the community there such as school sponsorship programs, small women development projects etc., so we learned that development can be done via business.
We learned so much that day, and we had a very good day. Time flies, and we went back tired and filled up with good experiences. On the way back, we saw another fruit called “Dragon fruit”, which I have never seen before, and I asked the owner how much it cost per kilo? He answered that the fruit cost 500 rupees per kilo, which unfortunately was too expensive for me, and therefore I did not buy it.
In the evening, Ram Maya asked us about the trip, whether we liked some experiences more than others, and what we had learned. I told the group that I really liked the CG Village, and that I have learned so much from the trip. It was inspiring an motivating for me to experience this. It is something I will never forget. We have an amazing group and group leader – I am happy and blessed.
I was attending a meeting with the WAWCAS group. There is a rule that if we are late to a meeting, we have to pay a fine.
The atmosphere at the meeting was good. People were smiling, laughing and discussing. I had the feeling that something special was about to happen.
Thank god I attended the meeting in time to hear the news. I said hello to my friends and asked if they knew what was going on. The information from the chairman was that we would finish the regular meeting, and then he would share the news with us.
I was not happy about this information, but I had to wait.
With support from Ram Maya, all repayments and saving were done, and everyone paid as per schedule.
I also got my passbook back after registration of my savings. I was so curious to hear about the news that I had to ask again. Our chairman shared the news with a big smile. He told us that we had started our businesses almost a year ago, and everyone now has their own business. We were told that our savings and business is going good, and we have also learned a lot through the IBT training. All our WAWCAS members were very happy. To be more experienced we discussed to make visits outside the Lamjung district. When I heard that, I was so excited and asked how much it was expected to cost. Ram Maya told us that it depended on where we wanted to go. The members of the meeting were so noisy, and everyone seems very excited.
One of my friends asked Ram Maya whether we could get support from the office. She immediately responded “it is not possible to get that kind of support for the visits, but I will join you personally”. Everyone agreed to visit Chitwan the coming week. It was also decided to collect seven thousand rupees each. Then we structured the visit plan and divided responsibilities between us. We also discussed, and agreed, to whom we reported. The discussion was very interesting, and we went home happy and with new energy.
During saving meeting the secretary asked us in the group to apply for a loan. It’s one of the parts of starting your own business from scratch. My loan was a 6000 NPR loan witch gave me the opportunity to dream big. Right now I have plans for the additional business I want to start poultry farm as well. I am satisfied to have two business, but I know it’s really hard and I need to too stay focused.
I shared the news to my family at dinner, but my husband was not happy about it. We experienced last winter a big lost at our chicken farm. I get sad and confused when my husband doesn’t support me. Thanks to the women group my son helps me to write in my dairy. I write about the lack of support my husband gives me. He laughs, and disrespects my hard work.
I dream about the future after having my loan, but in reality I don’t have that opportunity right now, so instead of risking my business I went to Shera Bazar. There I bought chickens from the big poultry farm. The owner says that due to the winter season he didn’t produced many chickens. He will provide it next week. I ordered 50 chicks and went back home.
While I was going back to my home I thought to myself if I lost my business how can I repay the group loan. If I don’t start the business I have to pay interest without mobilizing money. I decided to talk to Ram Maya about it. I arrived home faster than I thought. After dinner, I shared it with my husband and children. I also ask my son to help to write in my dairy so I told him how much I was worried and confused today regarding my business. Two days after I received a call from Ram Maya asking if I brought the chicken or not. I informed her that the chicken will come soon and I requested her to visit my place. Unfortunately it was bad because of the rain. After finishing all work I went to Shera Bazar to take my 50 chickens, even though the heavy rain. I left my money to the owner for 50 chickens and I bought some necessary stuff for my daily use and went back home.
Even though I left my money to the owner, I still thought I made a good decision. The next day I was cleaning my house and then Ram Maya came too visit me. She had a big smile and said Namaste. I forgot to informed my situation to her but it was too late. She was already at my place. I informed her about what happened yesterday. She understood the situation and said that its okay and I shouldn’t worry too much. I was reliefed.
I was about to leave my business store after completing the household chores, but then I saw Ram Maya is coming to my place.
I greeted her with a big smile, but I didn’t knew why she was visiting, but I gave her a mat for her to sit so we could talk.
Ram Maya open the conversation by asking her usual questions. I remembered back in the days when I joined the WAWCAS group, my relationship with my husband was not good. I also realized that since that, I’ve changed a lot as a woman. Previously when my husband scolded at me, I got angry and also did the same at him. At that time, I asked myself what’s wrong or what did I do – which has helped me a lot. I shared my experience with Ram Maya and during the training I got the courage to share it with the whole women group. I earned that I have to identify your inner capacity and strength which I now share with my children too.
My children sometimes help me writhing my diary. Doing the writing I reflect on myself if I am happy why I am, and if I am sad why I am? The diary is my mirror on the accomplishment I’ve done since I’ve started the training. I get really proud of what I have achieved, thanks to the WAWCAS training.
I participated in a meeting with Ram Maya and the other members. We greet each other with Namaste and then we sit down. The meeting felt a bit different as Ram Maya was sitting with two files in front of her.
I thought the meeting was over after collecting all the savings and clearing all the debts, but then Ram Maya took out another file and told us that we had to stay a little longer.
I remembered that Ram Maya had previously told us to conduct a PSRP per schedule now time therefore, Ram Maya started asking questions to all the members about sanitation, nutrition and safe motherhood etc.
Ram Maya laughed when she busted some of the members lying about their private situation at home. She told us that she was well known to our condition during the home visit session.She said that lying would be inconvenience.
I got scared because I was worrying about what question Ram Maya would ask me.
Surprisingly, Ram Maya asked same questions to all the members attending the meeting. The question was easy for me to answer, and afterwards I requested her to go earlier so I could hurry to deliver my son’s tiffin. The women agreed to hurry up the meeting. The questions was about topic’s such as nutrition and sanitation. I remembered our discussion during the previous meetings.
This organization has given me a lot of new knowledge. I’ve talked about topics I never thought I would be discussing openly with other women.
Ram Maya asked me about the condition at home and she confined the topic: Balanced-Diet.
I remembered that my children have been eating the same sort of food every day, because of my poor economic condition. I can’t provide my children a balanced diet every day, but Ram Maya helped us changing our food habit’s. I am positively openminded to manage the next PSRP.
Ram Maya said that whatever food is available at home I should be considered to properly eat on the right time. She asked me about my business in the livestock training. I remembered that I used to clean my goat. I’ve always repaid my seed money on time and started saving up for me and my family. Afterwards I felt so proud sharing my accomplishments. Like this, P.S.R.P. helped us to save money up, be better at remembering and do a more balanced die at home. Ram Maya said that P.S.R.P. means judging our own condition so no one should lie about this, which I’ve learned now.
I’ve learnt a lot from the 7 days training. My interest was very high throughout the whole training, but my favorite part of the training was “Chuhiney Gagro” (The Pocket Chart Analysis). My knowledge was very small to the subject before we started the training, but after talking with Ram Maya I understood it better. She told me to note my monthly income and expenditure properly, and after that I was really tensed about keeping the monthly record.
A good example is, my daily discussions with my husband about how high my expenditure really is. He gets angry at me and says that I should only buy what’s necessary. Ram Maya, told me to keep maintaining my monthly expenses, so I could keep the record. Keeping monthly record of expenditure could improve the relation among my family members so we can have time and resources for each other. I’ve got better at buying the cheapest things at the local market and I’ve been better asking for the bills even if the shopkeeper wonders my and husband don’t support me.
Mina from my womesgroup told me that not everyone will support and trust me at first. She gave me a good advice about keeping my record by myself in my diary. The problem was that I’m unable to read and write, and then she suggested that I could let my son help me out, even though he declined to help me at first. After some days tracking my expenses, me and my son are more aware about our monthly expenses and knows how to control it.
So now I gladly tell wondering-people why I buy the cheapest things and ask for the bill, I say:
“I’ve started to keep monthly record in my diary and WAWCAS really opened my eyes!”
All of sudden when I saw Ram Maya is coming to my place I was a bit nervous, but when Ram Maya greet me with a big smile my nervousness was gone. She wanted to know how I am doing with my business. I am so happy because my goat delivered yesterday.
This training has opened my eyes I have committed myself that I will be a successful businesswoman. When I shared that I have a baby he-goat she also looks very happy. She went to see the baby goat and told me if anything happens, please inform to Sudesh who is responsible for livestock. I feel proud and happy how WAWCAS team cares about us which has boosted my energy.
Ram Maya suggested me to start up additional business which will help me to pay back my installments and will get extra income too. What types of additional business should I start? She says that I can also start a small poultry farm for that I can take a group loan. Again my eyes opened and think that I can start local laying chickens so that I can sale the eggs and earn more income wow!!! That’s a really good idea. Since my husband is a carpenter, therefore, I will ask him to make a pen for the chickens.
Ram Maya remind me of the next training date and left encouraging me to start up new additional business. I promised myself that I will start my additional business this month.
As I entered the training place with a big bright smile along with my WAWCAS diary, I was very much excited to learn with Ram Maya. She started the session with warm welcome. She began the session by asking us what we understood when we heard the word “Sanitation”. We all looked at each other’s faces with confusion. Nobody exactly knew what sanitation meant. Ram Maya explained that sanitation is the effective use of tools and actions that keep our environment healthy. These includes sanitation in food preparation, washing stations, latrines or toilets to manage wastes, effective drainage and other such mechanisms. In simple words, it is the process of keeping places clean and healthy for better health a prevention of diseases.
Hygiene is a set of personal practices that contribute to good health. It includes activities like washing hands before and after eating food and in general also, bathing, trimming hair and nails in regular basis. Washing hands is the single most important activity that we can encourage all to do in order prevent diseases. She specifically focused on the health and hygiene of women. She said that we as women need to be more careful during our menstrual cycle. When she started talking about menstrual cycle, we got little uncomfortable as these topics are not openly discussed in our society. But she told that menstrual period should not be considered as taboo as it is a natural process and should be openly discussed. She gave us the statistics that many women annually suffer from various diseases because of carelessness, ignorance and unhygienic behavior during menstrual cycles. Therefore, it is very important to be clean and hygienic by using sanitary pad during the time of menstrual periods. If it is not possible to afford sanitary pad, cotton pad can also be used but it should be cleaned very properly and dried in proper sunlight for next use. When we were asked how many of us uses sanitary pads during menstrual cycles, nobody raised the hand. After knowing the importance of sanitation and hygiene, I have committed to myself that I will buy sanitary pad to my daughter so that she can use it during her menstrual cycles and be healthy and clean.
Another important message was that about brushing the teeth at least twice a day after meal. We only brush our teeth in the morning but that is not enough. When we don’t brush our teeth at night after dinner, the germs get the chance to decay our teeth in the night and the teeth’s condition will be worst. Hence, I promised to myself that along with me, I will explain and make all my family members to brush their teeth twice a day.
This IBT training is very meaningful as it helped us to improve the quality of our day to day life. The knowledge gained here was really eye opening to all of us.
After the SSA, I was very curious to participate in seven days of training. So today, the first day of training, I woke up early, completed my household chores and ran to the training venue. Two trainers, including Ram Maya, were there. Training started with a warm welcome by our trainer Ram Maya. Everyone looked very excited, me included. After the welcome, introductions began using proverbs. The trainers handed out half proverbs and we had to find our partner with the proverbs. The place was full of fun while we found our partners. We then had to listen to our partner’s introduction. We had known each other for many years, but never discussed what she likes, what makes her worry, what she doesn’t like. It was very interesting and I got to know all about her. While I was introducing myself, I was actually sweating and very nervous, but I managed. After the introductions, our trainer said that everyone knew people’s likes and dislikes with regard to behaviour, so we should not do anything that members are uncomfortable with or don’t like. I was so touched by this statement, as we never think of it.
The seven days of training were very fruitful. I learned a lot, such as market management, how to develop a business plan, our vision, how to conduct effective meetings, how to become successful entrepreneurs, the importance of record keeping and how to do it. The meaningful games were the most interesting part. We played a lot of games and all of them were very meaningful and fruitful. After every game, the trainer asked us what we had learned and how we felt. We never discuss like that.
For each and every topic, we were asked to form small groups and work. We discussed a lot and learned while sharing. We had a really good time in the seven days. I never thought that training would be like this.
When I arrived at the training venue, I felt happy and excited about the topic we were going to discuss that day. Ram Maya explained about situation analysis: Before any program is implemented, it is vital to know what the real situation in the target areas is in terms of children’s circumstances, women’s circumstances, health, local resources and mobilization.We should know where we are now and what our desired situation is. It is also very important that all of us should be aware of why we are doing situation analysis. Ram Maya divided us into four groups and asked about our situations, issues we are facing, and do we have marriage and birth certificates or not? During the discussion, I tried to recall if I had my children’s birth certificates or not, but I can’t remember. After identifying the issues we are facing, we started the next session with how to develop indicators. Ram Maya again told us that, when developing indicators, we should keep in mind what the existing situation is with regard to heath, children, women and resources, and we also needed to think about what kinds of changes we foresaw after six months or a year. She explained thatindicators are the changes that WAWCAS group members would like to see in themselves in one year’s time. When we had finished developing indicators, we went back home. When I got home, I was in a hurry to find my children’s birth certificates, so I opened my box and saw the birth certificates for my kids. I felt proud of myself and read the certificates. All of a sudden, I noticed that the caste was wrong. It should be ‘Priyar’, but the certificate said ‘Ghimire’. What should we do? I told my husband, but he did not know what to do, so I called Ram Maya and informed her of the situation. She suggested that I go to the VDC (Village Development Committee) for the correction to be made, which could be done easily. Then I felt very calm and relaxed. I learned that everything needs to be checked before conclusion.
My mind was blown after the first Information Sharing Meeting. I was thinking about getting involved in Slisha’s WAWCAS program and starting my own business. While I was busy with my housework, Ram Maya arrived out of nowhere and greeted me: “Namaskar Sharada, how are you?” I was shocked to see her and asked her why she was here. Then she said that we had met before at my house, and she was here to discuss and meet with me again.
Then she asked me how I felt about the WAWCAS program. Had I talked about the program with my family, and what business was I planning to start? I told her that I liked the program so much and was really interested in being part of it. And that I had also discussed this with my family. I was planning to join the program last year too and my husband had told me not to, but this time he said the organization was good. Ram Maya started laughing after I told her this and I asked her why. She replied: “Now your husband has also understood about the program, that’s why I was laughing.” I was curious as well as shocked that the other organization never came to people’s houses to discuss the program, but this organization come to our house and discussed the program, as well as noting down information. I wanted to ask her about it, but I didn’t. I thought she would share it with me later, and then she asked me why I was not speaking? I asked her why she was noting down all our information. Was it because she thought we would run away without paying the loan? She smiled and replied: “No, we make notes so we know how your situation was before engaging in the WAWCAS program and what changes you have made after being part of it.
She asked me about my children’s education. I was speechless, as I remembered my daughter telling me to let her study and in future she would look after us. But because of our economic condition we couldn’t take her to school. I wanted her to become a nurse, but I heard that it is really expensive and I can’t afford her studies. She then informed me that the nextmeeting would be held on Poush 4 on Social Situation Analysis and asked me to attend the meeting on that day.
January 10th, early in the morning I am very much excited to participate the meeting therefore after completing morning household chores I was ready for the meeting. I was thinking a lot while I was walking ram Maya told us that from this meeting final numbers will be selected by us. How do we select by us and I will be in or not was my big curiosity. When I reach the meeting place no one was there oh.. What happened, did meeting has canceled or postponed if something happens Ram Maya must inform me, let’s wait half an hour and see what will happen?
After 10 min. I saw our trainer Ram Maya is coming with a big smile she greets me and says that why I came so early? I replied to her that this time I don’t want to miss any chance to be a member of WAWCAS. In the meantime, other women also came and the real meeting started with a big warm, welcoming by Ram Maya our trainer.
After a review of the last meeting, she started to discuss “Poor” what is poor what are the indicators of ultra – poor, poor and medium poor. Based on the indicators, Ram Maya asks who belongs to which category and ask us to post our name under the category we think, we belong to. I was still not sure which category I belong to. I don’t have any land other friend posted their name under ultra-poor like me so I also posted my name under ultra – poor.
Ram Maya again discusses with us that if we agree where we have posted our name or not. There was a big discussion going on some wants to move from the ultra –poor to poor category some want to move ultra-poor too poor, then our trainer says that then we have to agree where we belong to. After the discussion, Ram Maya read the name list who has been selected for the WAWCAS group. I heard the name that I was in I am so happy to be a member of WAWCAS. I am so curious what will happen next?
My name is Sharada Pariyar and I live in Shreemanjyang Ward No. 3 with my three kids (one son and two daughters) and husband. My husband is a carpenter, but it is not possible to find work as a carpenter every day. One year back, I participated in two meetings held by SLISHA. My neighborhood asked me to attend an information sharing meeting for the WAWCAS program, but at that time my husband did not allow me to be a member of the WAWCAS group.
I wanted to be a member and start my own business like other people, but since my husband did not allow me to participate in the meetings, I did not dare go. When I saw my neighborhood start their own small goat farming business, I felt so frustrated and asked myself why I had not convinced my husband. Then I recalled that Ram Maya tried her best and finally told me to wait one year while he saw other people’s changed lifestyle, then he would allow me to be a member of the WAWCAS program.
After nearly a year, I got to know that Ram Maya was holding an information sharing meeting in another village, so I wanted to meet her. I saw Ram Maya going to the meeting place and she saw me too. After greeting each other, she asked me how I was doing. I felt ashamed, but she told me that the new group would be formed at Kalnebesi village and I should come to the meeting.
This time I also asked for support from social worker Mr. Dhana Bhadur to convince my husband and he did very well. Surprisingly, my husband allowed me to be a member of the WAWCAS group and I thanked Mr. Dhana Bhadur and our trainer. Due to our efforts, I really hope that this time I will be a member of the WAWCAS group and my dream will soon come true.
Hi, I am Ram Maya Thapa Magar. I have been working in the WAWCAS program since May 2012. I am so glad that I am writing the blog on behalf of Sarada Pariyar, showing her ups and downs and experiences for the coming 16 months. I would like to thank Saradha for committing to give me her time. From now on, I will be writing the story of Saradha, how she feels, what she does and many other things. I am very excited about how her life will be changed. Let’s wait and watch. I am sure her life will be changed like other people’s.