Life is tough in rural Bajura villages. And it is tougher for women here.
Kisandevi Luwar of Badhu VDC-7 in Bajura, has a one-year-old child. She wants to devote most of her time taking care of her child, but she cannot. If she does not work, she cannot feed her child, and the only work she can find in her village is of a porter.
She carries rice from Kolti to other places. Besides her one-year-old baby, she has to feed three other mouths — her another child and in-laws. With no employment opportunity at home, her husband Birkha left the village about a year ago, saying he would go abroad.
One year on, Birkha has not been able to send money to his family, leaving Kisandevi with no other option that working as a porter which demands physical labour. She is seen carrying sacks of rice on her back and her baby in her arms — a backbreaking job, but this is the only way she can earn a living.
“I have two children and old in-laws to look after. Who else would earn for the family?” says Kisandevi.
Similar is the tale of Tula BK of Jayabageshwori VDC-1. She is 35, but looks much older than her age. Hard labour is what I have been accustomed to since my childhood, she says. “Good food, nice clothes and a better life are just what we can only think of,” she says.
What Kisandevi and Tula are going through just represents the plight of women in the rural areas of the country.
Male members are conspicuously absent from their homes and females are left to do the arduous tasks for a living.
“We are not educated. Toiling in the fields or carrying heavy stuff on back are the only options we have in the villages. Life is tough here,” says Dhauli BK of Kolti.
Rukhmani Shah, chair of Women Rights Forum in Bajura, said the plight of women in this remote part of the country is beyond imagination.
“If they do not work, they cannot earn a living; and if they work, the only option they are left with is carrying heavy load on back or even ploughing the fields.