Story 12: Of Harikala B.K.
Harikala happily growing vegetables in the village
Successful Entrepreneur, Panchapuri 11, Tatapani, Harikala B.K. (Vegetable Trader)
I am Harikala B.K. I am 40 years old. I live in Surkhet, Panchapuri Municipality, ward no. 11. My parents live in Chaur which lies in ward no. 3 of Panchapuri Municipality. I am the eldest daughter of my father Maharup B.K and mother Jaikala B.K. I had 9 siblings including five brothers and 4 sisters in my family. As my family’s financial situation was weak, I could study only up to class 5.
When I was 15 years of age, I went to meet my Phupu (Father’s sister). She lives in Tatapani which lies in the ward no.11 of Panchapuri Municipality. During my visit, I got acquainted with the nephew of my Phupu. Later, he came to my house to ask for my hand in marriage. My parents gave consent and I came to my husband’s house at the age of 15. My husband lived in an extended family with around 24 family members. Along with a big family, my responsibilities within the family were also heavy. I had to grind 3 to 5 pathi of different grains such as wheat and corn on the Jaanto (stone grinder) in the mornings and evenings daily.
Later, I told my husband that, I couldn’t work like this therefore we should go to India to seek work. My husband also accepted my request easily. We went to India and worked there for 2 years. Later, I got pregnant in India and could not work afterward. Because I couldn’t work, my husband started stressing me about that. I had a relative from my parent’s side in India. I used to call him brother. I shared my problem with him. Later after getting consent from my husband, he brought me to my parent’s home. I stayed with my parents for 4 months but no one from my home came to pick me up. The delivery time was getting nearer and it was causing me a lot of stress.
Later, my father took me home and left me there. However, my family members did not care about me at all. I gave birth to a baby girl after a while. My husband could only come after 15 days after I gave birth. Eventually, our family asked us to separate from the main family therefore, me and my husband lived separately. I used to do housework and the husband earned from wage labour. My days were passing like that, and I gave birth to my son. Family finance was very weak and there were many fights within the family. My husband started abusing me, by drinking alcohol, hurting me, and not giving me money at home.
A turning point came for me when I participated in a community discussion and heard there was a project coming into the community and a women’s group would be formed. I wanted to be a part of that group therefore I put forth my wish to be in the group. In the beginning, due to illness, I could not attend the meeting regularly. However, I attended the meeting regularly later on. One day, while we were in the meeting, there was a discussion on selecting a few who were victims of domestic violence and were financially weak to support them in income generation. Luckily, the group chose me as one of the people getting the support. I expressed my wish to do vegetable farming therefore I got the training in entrepreneurship and vegetable farming. After the training, I got Rs. 25000 to cultivate vegetables. I bought weeds, seeds, and irrigation tanks for vegetable cultivation with the money I got. In the beginning, I earned 48,000 in one season by selling onions worth 10,000, cabbage worth 7,000, cauliflower worth 17,000, watermelon worth 17,000, chilies worth 8,000, and leafy green.
Seeing that I was earning money by growing vegetables, my husband also started treating me well. Then again, we got different plots of land on lease for vegetable farming. We planted cauliflower in 2 ropani of land, and for potatoes, onions, and watermelon we used 3 ropani of land. Both me and my husband got very busy in vegetable cultivation. My husband also stopped drinking due to busy work. In the previous season, I sold potatoes, cauliflower, and cabbage worth 60,000 in the village by selling them from Doko . Currently, we are busy with vegetable farming and are living harmoniously in the family. The earning is enough for my family and to send my children to school. I would like to thank the organization very much for giving me such a great opportunity.