Success Stories

(All the names in the case study are changed name as per the publication rule and keeping in confidentiality of the client)

Phulmati Tharu

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Phulmati Tharu, 26 is a resident of Mainapokhar V.D.C. She was married to Kantiram Tharu, of Dudakala V.D.C. 11 years ago. Her husband works in Nepal Police. The couple has 9 years old daughter. Phulmati’s husband ignored her and did not even care about her basic necessities. Her husband used to beat her and was more in favor of his elder brother’s wife. He used to provide food and clothes to his elder brothers wife but not to his wife. He ignored Phulmati and her daughter and constantly abused and violated. This incident of Phulmati was informed to the men’s group, later the members of the men’s group went and talked with Kantiram, and mediation was done. After mediation Kantiram (Phulmati’s husband) and Phulmati’s sister – in – law accepted and realized their mistake. Phulmati’s husband committed not to repeat the mistake again and promised to take good care of his wife and daughter. The members from the men’s group is doing follow-up regularly, and now they are living happily. Phulmati expressed hearty thanks to the men’s group and the Para-counselor who supported her who helped in bringing happiness in her life.

Conflict and mitigation

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I am Nirmala, 16 years old girl from a poor family.  Both my parents have to work hard either in our own house or others to earn a few rupees. At the same time my father also goes to India for 5-6 months every year for seasonal employment. These are the only sources of income of our family.

Looking at the poor financial condition of my family, I always felt, I must support my family. I am the third child of my parents and all other elder sisters have got married. Also, both of my brothers got married and settled with their wives. There are 2 younger sisters below me, and it was impossible for me to think about studies though, I used to feel that, I could study and do something for my family and myself.

One day, I was with my friend at my house. One unknown lady came and approached us to provide her with some food. We later realized that she was a Maoist cadre.  The same lady again came to us and informed us about Maoist party. I had heard about Maoist but did not know in detail about them. After she informed about the party we came to know more about the Maoist movement in Nepal. She slowly started to show us hopes and consolation regarding the achievements that we can get after the revolution. Both of us me and my friend were very young to understand what was good and what was bad for us. We felt like joining the party. The lady again came to our house and told us that we should join the party.

I still remember the day when she persuaded me to join the party.  Also, I had almost made up my mind but my family came to know about my plans. So, in order to stop me from joining to the Maoist party, my parents slept outside my room’s door to guard me. Though they slept there, they could not stop me joining the party.

In the initial days, I was involved in different campaigns and we were used as a porter. Only, after only few days, I was back in camp and then, I realized that I have become a soldier.  As part of the campaign, we used to travel different places. During that time we used to go without proper food and sleep for so many days. I used to get so hungry but, I could not ask for food. I also used to feel shy and at many places people refused to provide us food. My confidence was raised when; I went to village and threatened to provide us food. Also at times, I used to get worried about my parents as they had some other dreams for me from which, I have reached too far.
Inside the camp it was very interesting. I used to have many friends and I was quite happy. I used to feel that, I have got a job and will be earning lots of money soon. All my dreams were shattered when; I came to know that the senior cadre sexually exploits the younger cadre girls. This spread a fear among us and the days were no longer the same.

As days passed by, I met lots of friend from different places. I also met a person from my own village and I started to spend more time with him. This was reported with wrong interpretation to the commander of our company. The company commander inquired about the issue. I also told him all the fact and clarified that nothing wrong was going on between me and him. Later, the issue was resolved when the commander posted him in other district.

During my stay in the maoist party, I came across many things, they promised us that we will be given our salary but they never paid a penny. Due to these reasons, I felt like leaving the party. I was looking for the best chances to escape. Luckily, one day I got permission to visit my family. Reaching home, I decided not to return to the party again. But, after few months the Maoist came to take me back. I was denying but with the fear that they will harm my family, I was forced to return.

Returning to the party, I realized that they mistreat anyone who tries to escape.  While they started to mistreat me, I again tried to escape with one of my friend and we also got success. The Maoist again came to take me but this time with the help of the community and the human rights groups I was able to escape from the party. The Human Rights Organization that rescued me referred me to Aawaaj. The extreme fear of Maoist made me so weak that, I spent almost three months in Aawaaj temporary safe house. I used to miss my family a lot but could not return. During my stay in safe house, I also used to go to day care center and learned a lot on different issues. It was very fruitful as, I came to learn about various issues like child rights, trafficking, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and HIV/AIDS. I also learned about life skills and techniques of building my confidence level. Nowadays, people don’t hesitate to talk with me and also they have stopped to spread rumors and foul remark about me. Looking back my past life, I realize how vulnerable I was. Now, I have gained respect and love from everyone around. I am studying in my own village in grade 8 with support of Aawaaj scholarship program and also involved in child club. Lastly, I would like to thank Aawaaj staff for showing me positive path of life.

My name is Sunkala Budha. I am from Nagarkot Gadapani-5 Jumla and now I am 18 years old. I was born in the middle class family of Jumla. Jumla district is one of the most remote villages in Karnali zone of Midwestern region of Nepal. I was born as the fourth child of my parents. I got this opportunity to study till class 5 in a local school in Jumla. As I was a bright child, I enjoyed my studies and hence did quite well at the school; my parent did not stop me to go to the school. As then the 10 year’s conflict was on the rise, unexpectedly Maoist eyed on our family as one of the wealthier families in Jumla. During the ten years conflict, the Maoist has gathered one member each from the houses in my village in order to serve their party.  As the extortion of the Maoist rose, they began to force my brother to join in for the revolution. As I felt bad about my brother joining the Maoist, I told them that I would join instead so that my brother could escape to India. I was also thinking that by telling them this I would also escape. As part of the plan, my brother ran away to India. I was in jumla; one day while I was in the cultural program, I again encountered Maoist.  They again started to force me to join them. My father along with younger brothers and sisters requested them to leave me alone but they did not. While my father was requesting them they put their guns on his chest and started to abuse him physically. I had no other option rather than to go with them. While I was forcefully working for them, I always tried to run away but I was unsuccessful all the times. I have never left the home, as a result of it; I had to face so much of difficulties while I was there. While I was there I saw lots of human right abuse inflicted by them. I encountered so many inequalities in there, like we had to do so many things which we did not like. While we refuse to do things, we used to get so much of torture and abuses by the senior cadres. We could never be peaceful then.  With excessive physical and mental torture, I was so depressed that I felt like to kill myself.  I could not able to die too. While I requested to visit my home, they gave me 100 Rs and with those 100 Rs I came back to my house. It was very hard as I had to travel from the route that was dense forest. I struggled a lot and reached home however, I could not receive good response from my own family and the community. My family members started to show hate and apathy towards me. With this kind of behavior towards me, I was forced again to join them. While I got back there I was envied a lot by my friends in the camp as they conspire to kill me. I detected that, I ran away from there to my uncle’s place in Nepal gung. After I request him many times, he gave me money to go for a driving training. After getting training, I tried to get the driving license. As there was a big conspiracy on me, I could not get that. This made me frustrated and felt like I would join the Maoist party again. While approaching them, they said that there have stopped taking new cadres and there was no place for me there any more. It made me humiliating with no options at all. Then, I began to feel like there is no option for me except that I will commit suicide. I tried to commit suicide again but I could not.

I left to my relatives home for two months that my brother came to know about. He came there to take me home. While on the way he started to physically abuse me. While reaching home, my younger brothers and sisters started to cry as they were all the times abused by our step mother along with brother and his wife.  As I stayed there for few days my brother’s wife started to abuse me both verbally and physically.  She even said that she would kill me by poisoning me. This made it impossible for me to stay at that house and had to leave to my relative’s home in Surkhet.  While I was staying at my relative’s home in surkhet, I came across the representatives of Aawaaj. As they requested me to visit the organization, I started to visit frequently. In addition to this, I also started to visit the tuition classes and child friendly spaces of Aawaaj, where I started to teach children there on the preventive aspects and measures that we need to take while we encounter the explosive materials. While time passed I involve myself as a volunteer of Aawaaj,   This is when I knew about the training package that they are providing to the girls who are in problems. While I was in contact with Aawaaj, I began to feel a kind of security and happiness. I also started to pass my times at the hostel of Aawaaj, where I used to share my pain and sorrow with the other sisters. I used to spend a day there where as I used to go to my relatives home at evenings. That time around, I used to share all my feelings with friends that I made there. This has boosted my morale as well as my confidence.  

While I got this opportunity of this sewing training after quite a while that I started to visit the Aawaaj, I was very much excited as well as I developed my feeling that I will do some thing for the community as well as myself.  As I was involved with the different programs of Aawaaj, I learned so many things on the life skills that helped me to identify lots of social problems in our society. Once in my community there was had an incident where a 50 year old man had raped a woman who was almost 60 years old. I helped that woman by informing the near by police station at the same time informing Aawaaj for the related support for that woman. Now a day I have been working in a local tailor shop, after completing the training I have been able to sew so many kinds of cloths like “Kurta/suruwal”, “blouse”, and other children’s cloth items. I have planned that after few months, I will earn some money and start my own shop. I feel that I will be independent as well as strong; this is the only reason that holds me together. Some time I feel that being a girl made a big difference and my family might have abandoned me with all that has happened to me in my life. I even think that once I start the shop in Jumla, I will also help other girls like me in problems. I will also fight against all kinds of discriminations on girls in Karnali zone.

My mother passed away when I was only 9 months old. I always had to seek maternal love and affection from others. After the death of my mother, my father along with my brother raised me. When I grew up I always felt the need of my mother however this need was tried to be fulfilled by the four brothers who always loved me and cared me as I was the only sister for them. Like most of the Chaudharys, we also used to work in others’ houses to fulfill our basic needs. I was small and my brothers along with my father took care of me earlier. After few years, my eldest brother got married, to fulfill the extra human resource for our households. Initially, my brother’s wife was kind to me but later both the brother and his wife started to abuse me physically and mentally. The only reason was that I wanted to go to the school. At the same time, my father also started to abuse alcohol and started to torture me. Even though, this was getting too much for me, I could not leave that house since I had nowhere to go. I had a great interest in study. I used to finish all my household works and tried to go to school but my family used to object it saying that I need to go to others’ houses for work. Still I used to go to school. I used to finish my homework and attended the classes. At the same time, I used to stay at my friends house for study during the time of examination. Those were the days for me to struggle a lot for my study as there was no family support at all. Sometimes I even had to skip classes to go to the work so that I could buy the educational materials. Because of the educational expense my family never liked me going to the school. For this, my family started to give me so much of mental pressure that some times I used to feel like dying. I could not commit suicide as one of my brother used to love me a lot. Unfortunately, he also died in an early age, which left me no reasons to live. After that, my days were left really painful and hard. One day, I heard the radio program called “WE CAN” that was related to end violence against women and children. The program was of an organization named Aawaaj. This program used to be broadcasted through the mid western regional radio Nepal. In that program lots of articles, debates, dramas, plays were broadcasted, this was really impressive as well as informative. As part of this campaign, there was one listener’s club at our school in Bardia. I was also very much interested in that club and decided to work as a member of this radio listener’s club. Then, we started to conduct programs on raising awareness on the violence against women and girls however; I had to face lots of violence within my own house. As the torture was too much I decided that I would go to my uncle’s house in Surkhet. While informing this to my Club, they suggested that I should visit the organization called Aawaaj. Keeping this thing in mind, I traveled to Uttarganga VDC in Surkhet. During my stay there for few days, my uncle left to Kathmandu as he had a work there and then my Aunty started to abuse me verbally saying lots of discriminatory things like I could not stay at my own house and I wanted to spoil even their house and so on. As it reached a limit, I could not stay at that house at all. I left and went to Aawaaj that time and received counseling. After a long discussion, I decided to take a training of “marketing” to improve my situation. I was happy that I was receiving training at the same time I would also be staying at the hostel of Aawaaj, as I had no place to stay in Surkhet. I was really happy from the beginning that I would be staying at the hostel with lots of friends. As I worked together with my friends and started to share each other’s problems, I really started to enjoy the stay there. I felt peaceful and stress free while I was staying at the hostel. I also took a life skill training that taught me to tackle with the life at the same time to build my confidence. After that I felt like I have some confidence to me. After completing 3 months training of marketing, I have learned many things like how to run a business, how to deal with the customers, and other things that are essential for the business. As a part of the training, I was placed at the KP Enterprises for ‘on the job training’. They had noticed my confidence and capacity and hired me as their market representative. I had to go to different places like telephone offices, electricity offices to pay the bills of the customers. I have started to enjoy my work. I am enjoying my works; at the same time I am also raising voice in different agencies for those women who have faced extreme violence in their houses. Now I have referred many women who faced violence to Aawaaj.  I am now very happy with the development that is taking place in my life.