Tulasa Danuwar is originally from Sindhuli district. 18 year ago, after her home and land were washed away by a flood, her family moved to Hetauda where they worked as street vendors for 4 years. After saving some money they moved to Kathmandu and started selling clothes in the streets of Sundhara. But 6 years ago a car went out of control and hit Tulasa while she was working and left her with a broken foot.
Pooja Pode, (name) 42 is from Chettrapati, Dalko, Kathmandu. Like her mother, she worked as a sweeper for the Municipality of Kathmandu for 9 years. Her husband, an alcoholic, passed away 7 years ago leaves her as the sole breadwinner of the family. Unable to provide for her two daughters and son with her current salary, she had to quit her job.
Babita Shrestha, 31, lives in Kathmandu with her husband and two children. She has been working as a tempo driver for 11 years in the capital. Together with her husband, who is also a driver, she earns enough to sustain their livelihood and educate their two children.
One day, Adiya had to take an emergency leave due to her mother’s health. The next day the supervisor verbally abused and scolded Adiya in front of all other staff. This humiliation led Adiya to gather courage and complain to the manager about the abuse she had been facing from her supervisor. Initially supportive, the manager’s decision to fire her shocked Adiya.
The earthquake and its aftershock triggered many landslides in the village, because of which, the canal was filled with debris. As a result, numerous lands were left barren. Villagers made several attempts to clean the canal. However, repair and maintenance of the canal was not taking shape due to lack of guidance and other priorities. This issue was raised in the ReFLECT session, where they discussed the impact of decreasing harvest and low earnings. Since then, ReFLECT members decided to rebuild the canal. For this purpose, they coordinated with the Ward Disaster Climate Resilience Committee (WDCRC) and Local Irrigation Committee to proceed reconstruction of the canal. With the help of 125 villagers, ReFLECT members completed cleaning the canal working continuously from 30 Dec 2018 to 13 Jan 2019.
The situation after the earthquake was an extreme struggle for the Majhi family. Their house had collapsed and they were forced to live in a makeshift tent. “It was very hard to stay inside the tent. During the day, it was crazily hot, and once night time came, it used to get very cold. The earthquake had ruined everything”, tears rolled down Kul Bahadur’s eyes while he shared the story trying to look brave.
Sunita Pahari and her husband Ramesh Pahari married young. They have a daughter and live together with Ramesh’s parents in Godawari municipality, Lalitpur district. Both Sunita and Ramesh work as manual laborers for their livelihood. As work in the construction sector is seasonal, they aren’t often employed in the same site.
On March 8, 2018 (International Women’s Day), Sunita was working at the home of a middle-aged male relative in her village. At around 1 pm when she returned after delivering bricks, he was the only one present in the house. He took advantage of the isolated environment and grabbed Sunita by the wrist and molested her. She cried for help but he had covered her mouth and continued to molest her. Her repeated attempts to escape failed until she grabbed a pot and hit him on his head. She then ran outside and cried for help. All the villagers including her husband arrived, the culprit was beaten by the crowd and then submitted to the police custody.
This incident left Sunita sleepless for many nights. She felt that women aren’t safe anywhere. She says, “A place of work should be dignified and safe. I know that most women in the construction sector have been abused and working in such an unsafe environment is a huge challenge for us.