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Hey, before you judge me let me be clear I am writing this: not that i don’t respect women or nor i am one of the Meninists. I am a humanist! I believe there should be equality and equity among all the genders and sexes, precisely among the all humans of the world. But may be I  would again be confused as an idealist. Is it not possible? Ok, I am here to talk about the International Men’s Day and not about isms. As I said earlier, I respect the fact of first being a human and then I go into the sub categories, whom I have full on respect from the end core of my thoughts and heart. March 8, celebrated as an International Women’s Day is officially reaching 107th year. Whenever i see the posts of this day, i have pleasure within myself. I imagine the role of women as  a mother, sister, colleague, friend, life partner and many more. How beautiful it is! how astounding the role she has played in our individual lives in the society. Yes, it’s beautiful! ain’t it? One of my friends updates her status in the early morning: “[“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” #copied Happy International Women’s Day girls. Cheers for  being a woman]” Then i see in the comment box from my own male counterparts: we should have men’s day as well. And so more status updates from  Men this day: ‘Why is that the women are only the ones to be proud of? We should also be.’ I find myself astonished. Are these people commenting just for the sake of commenting and getting attention or are they just making fun out of themselves. It’s not a competition dude. It is not a game of winning or loosing. It is a day to cherish women for being what they are, that’s it. Look at your mother- she gave birth to you, kept you in her womb. She has done so much for you. So, a day ( I know, even 365 days are not sufficient) in a year you wish her and thank her for who she is in your life. Does this mean, your father should be revolting against you or you are disrespecting his presence? NO, right? So lets make it as simple as it is. FYI: Dude, International Men’s Day do exist! have you ever gone through the history of it? or have you ever tried googling about this fact? Often, I get the answer from people- ‘NO’. Every year, 19 November it is. The big day- International Men’s Day. Keep your calendar updated. The objectives of celebrating  include focusing on

  • health of men and boys,
  • gender relations improvement,
  • gender equality promotion and
  • highlighting male role models.

It’s an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. Now, the feminist people please don’t say here- do men really need this? Isn’t it a waste? My answer is YES, men need it. I agree to the fact that there are more women cases of violence and discrimination but we can not ignore the fact that though in small numbers or statistics compared to that of women, there are also cases of violence and discrimination against men.Can you believe this statistics?More than 40% of the domestic violence victims are men ( Guardian). As I said I am a HUMANIST, so for me it’s important as well. It is equally important that every cases of violence against either men, women, any gender, any human needs to be addressed in as humanly way as possible. The broader and ultimate aim of any Women’s Day or Men’s Day is to promote basic humanitarian values, right? Happy 107th International Women’s Day to all

February 19, 2015, I was walking with  my friends in Basantapur, a famous World Heritage enlisted site by UNESCO, before and after the advent of Nepal Earthquake 2015, for gatherings. be it a college reunion, or you wanna have a sip of Nepali style tea with  some chitchats, you can always count Basantapur in. While we were waiting for our all friends to arrive, we were posing for pictures (its natural i guess, everyone don’t come on time). We saw a man on his 50s, wearing Daura Suruwal ( Nepali national dress) waving Nepali National flag and passers by were staring at him and clicking some photos of him, with him- portrait, selfie, wefie and in every possible forms. One of my friends was curious to know who that man was? where did he come from?

I was also curious about him and I wanted to take a picture with him and Nepali National Flag. I insisted my friend to go and ask him. He went and asked for permission to take picture with the flag and him. We took some pictures and all of us were happy and smiling.

My friend salutes with The Flag Bearer of Kathmandu 🙂

I was curious about him and asked where is he from and why he does this all day?

Based on conversation with him

” I am from Kalimati. A small town from Kathmandu famously known as the ‘tarkari bazaar’:vegetable market.  All I want is my country’s flag to be known by people around the globe. Firstly, I want to start it from ourselves, within our citizens. I want everyone to Respect for country’s flag, build patriotism.

Here, I am not representing any organizations , I represent myself, a Nepali! ”

 

The Flag Bearer of Kathmandu with Nepali National Flag in front of Trailokya Narayan temple. Unfortunately, the temple was ramsacled by Nepal Earthquake 2015 and is now under reconstruction.

Nepal’s national flag is a unique triangular flag as you can see in the picture above- one of it’s kind in the world.

I was very inspired by what he said.It mesmerized me and my mind was striked with a thiught that day. Yes! an individual can start on his own for a change, why not we? He started on his own and continues to do so. Let’s start from ourselves!

At present date as well, after the Nepal Earthquake 2015, The Flag Bearer of Kathmandu- Laxmi Narayan Shilpakar stands at Basantapur premises and waves Nepali national flag.
You can find him on facebook. See the image below :

The Flag Bearer of Kathmandu with his id card and facebook page 🙂

​मैले आज फूल पाए

Tried my best to maintain originality of the beautiful poem. Please feel free for your comments and feedbacks

Thanks to Neelima Karmacharya and Nirmala Maharjan for sharing this poem that inspired me to translate into Nepali version.

 

 

मैले आज फूल पाए

 

मैले आज फूल पाए

न मेरो जन्मदिन थियो न कुनै बिशेष दिन

हामी बीच केहि भनाभन भयो गएको रात एक छिन

अनि मेरो मुटु दुखेको थियो उहाँका निर्दयी वचनले

मलाई थाहा छ उहाँलाई पश्चाताप छ र ति कुरा भन्न खोज्नुभएको होइन उहाँले

किनकि मलाई आज फूल दिनुभयो उहाँले

 

मैले आज फूल पाए

न हाम्रो बिहेको बार्षिकी थियो न त कुनै बिशेष दिन

गएको रात उहाँले मलाई भित्तामा लडाउनु भो अनि घांटी थिच्नु भो एकछिन

लाग्यो यो कुनै नराम्रो सपना हो भनेर

बिश्वास गर्नै सकिन यो साचो हो भनेर

यो बिहानी मेरा शरीरमा रातिका निला अनि दुखेका डाम छ

मलाई थाहा छ उहाँलाई पश्चाताप छ

किनकि मलाई आज फूल दिनुभयो उहाँले

 

न कुनै आमाको मुख हेर्ने दिन थियो न त कुनै बिशेष दिन

गए राति उहाँले मलाई फेरी पिट्नु भयो एकछिन

यो पटक पैले भन्दा झन् दुख्ने गरि

म केहि गर्न सक्दिन होला उहाँलाई छाडी

कसरी बच्चाको स्याहार गर्नु? पैसा कसरी ल्याउनु म एक्ली?

मलाई उहाँ देखिन डर लाग्छ तर बाँच्नु सक्दिन उहाँलाई छाडी!

तर मलाई थाहा छ उहाँलाई पश्चाताप छ किनकि

मलाई आज फूल दिनुभयो उहाँले

 

मैले आज फेरी फूल पाए

आज को दिन बिशेष थियो, मेरो मृत्युको दिन

गए राति उहाँले मेरो हत्या गर्न सफल हुनुभयो

मलाई मरनाशन हुने गरि पिट्नुभयो

यदी मैले साहश जुटाएकी भए

अनि हिम्मतका साथ उहाँलाई छाडेकी भए

आज मैले फूल पाउने थियीन होला

मेरो अन्तिम फूल

As i am home for celebrating tihar one of the greatest festivals of hindus and my favourite,
i come with more awakening.I am back home with more sense of responsibility. My
responsibility towards the community that i’m starting to work with, “Community in BETHAN!”
Before coming home for celebrating tihar, we had a session regarding community feeling.
During that session only, i happened to think about how we have so much responsbility
towards the community and its development.

The session in our LTS(Long Term Service ) residential training house was for us to think
and discuss about the three main aspects of how-

  • we feel being Responsible
  • we felt as a Part of community and
  • we find Meaning in our work in community

Flashback started in my mind and all actions started coming reversed.

Image

The arrival at “Dahu”
was a warm welcome by the community people with garlands tikas and flowers and in their
traditional greeting “LHASO; Phyafulla”. They expressed us how happy they were to see all of
the international and national fellows and thanked us for being there, despite the face that
the village is a rural place to be in. All of the people were hopeful that we would do
something great for them. And with that hope sense of  was born .That was the
first time when i perceived the sense of responsibility. It then started intensifying when
we talked to the people on the way, in the house we stayed and in the community meeting at
Dahu, Bhawasa and Majhi village.

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Similarly, while we were visiting and observing the village areas the next day, people from
community gave us Pomello, almonds and lots of other fruits for free. We were completely
strangers to them and they gave us those fruits. I paused and thougt for a second – if it
was my neighbourhood in Kathmandu- not even a single leaf from the plants would be given to
strangers let alone the fruits! At that moment i felt as i was also the part of community,
so that was why they offered us fruits.

Image

And finding a meaning to our community development work in Bethan is something that’s
connected with both of the above things- being responsible and feeling as a part of
community. One of our international fellows said- it is P(part of community) R
(Responsbility) = Meaning , which i see as a very good reflection. Both of these aspects (P
and R) combine together and will give a meaning to our work in Bethan. we have expectations
of what we can give to the community people there and they have expectations from us of what
we will be giving them. And if these expectations match up then of course we will find a
meaning to our work there. For this to happen, we, the national and internationals along
with the staffs will work hard and achieve it!

we go to work in Bethan next week and we internalised all of these aspects which was
meaningful and helpful. warmly and heartly thanx to Esther and Gilli for having this
wonderful session of community feeling 🙂

Lastly, but not the least- HAPPY TIHAR everyone!! 🙂

Photos by – Hava

Commitment task

Before it was just an egg for me. It was something i would love to eat by making omelet  Also, i loved

it when i tried the 1st Israeli dish- Saksuka made by my international fellow in one of the breakfasts. But now it is not just an egg for me.
While being in one of the trainings by Nyayik Sansar, our trainer Atmaram Neupane gave us a task. Each of Nepalese fellows were given an egg. We should care for the egg regarding as a baby, till we went back home for dasain. The task was for 9 0r 10 days.
First of all, all of us felt like why should we care for an egg like baby! Egg is something to eat not to be taken care of!
Later on he explained us, it as a commitment task. He wanted to see how committed we are and what efforts we could do to protect the egg and complete our task.
We had to carry the egg where ever we went- was it kitchen, swayambhu, sessions, everywhere.
All of us did the task with much effort, we even named our eggs, mine was named SUMAN Jr. (as u see in the pic). All of us were so committed that we even made protective covers to our so called baby :P.

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We took it to all the places where we went and protected it. we finished our task and went home.Al were happy.

Previously, i had thought of eating the egg once i reach home but later on i couldnt do it. i was so attached to it that i abandoned my thoughts of eating the egg. Now the egg is hanging in my room with its name written on it ‘SUman Jr.’. Forever , i will try to protect it like my baby.
The credit goes to our trainer . Previously  it was just an egg but later on after the task it was something close to my heart which i would always like to treasure. i felt an ownership for it. Also i came to realize how something strange, completely nothing to me can be so near to me.

The same goes when i work in Bethan. Bethan now is like a stranger for me but later on when i’ll start my work there, it won’t be any stranger. it would be like my place, it’s people as my people and it’s problems as my own problems which i have to deal with and solve !

Once again, the so called egg – Now, It’s not just an egg!!!

 

While volunteering in Tewa, our participants  (Ariyane, Krita, Sara and Suman ) were given task to write about stories of young ladies who were involved in night entertaintment business such as working as waitress in a night restaurant , singing in such night entertaintment business houses and so on.

Women working in Night Entertaintment business houses are molested and sexually harrased. We went to this organisation named  Women for Women Nepal (WOFOWON) which looks after women working in such sectors. Here is a short description of WOFOWON and  some of the stories of such women by our volunteering team.

Women for Women Nepal (WOFOWON)

WOWOFON was established in 2008 and currently has 507 members and 9 board members. The vision of the organisation is a prosperous society with a guarantee of labour and human rights for women working in the entertainment sector based on social security and justice. WOWOFON holds a mission in which the organisation works for the preservation, protection and promotion of women’s rights. The organisation aims to unite and ensure the women labour rights through various activities in order to reach the goal of the organisation which is to unite informal women and women working in the entertainment sector, facilitate their empowerment and advocate for a con­ducive environment in which their labour and human rights are met. This article revolves around the stories of four women whom the WOWOFON has helped. Their stories are as follows.

Sita Thapa( Myagdi)

Sita Thapa left her village 11 years ago due to the maoist insurgency. She found a job in a shop but when the owner failed to pay her she left and headed to Kathmandu with the help of an army of­ficer. There, she found a job as a waitress but when the owner did not pay her properly she left the job.

She is divorced and has been so for a year. Her husband harassed and beat her and after reporting the abuse to the police she got a divorce. Meanwhile she joined WOFOWON where she received training in dancing and education in the English language. The WOFOWON has helped her in learning her rights and so she feels empowered by this. Today she owns a small lunch shop and is economically independent. The shop allows her to save around Rs. 25,000 – 30,000 per month. She also teaches dancing at WOWOFON and hopes to work more with the organisation in the future as well as learning how to read and write as she is illiterate.

All in all she feels that she has evolved as a person due to the training and support she has received at WOWOFON. She has gained a lot of confidence and has become aware of her rights as a woman and a worker. She is empowered and looks after her family which consists of two brothers who does no contribute in looking after the family. She hopes that TEWA in the future will help more women.

Prativa Karki Shrestha (Dhading)

Prativa Karki Shrestha is 19 years old and currently living in Kathmandu while working as a wait­ress. She eloped with her boyfriend because her parents did not approve of him and entered mar­riage at the age of 17. Due to various difficulties she was unable to finish her +2 and is not able to collect her certificate from her parents as she has no contact with her family because of the dispute over the then boyfriend and now husband.

She has tried to commit suicide twice because her husband beats her and has no respect for her. She has also experienced harassment at work, which has also been a contributing factor in her attempts on her own life. However, today she has gained the confidence to stand up against the men who sexually harass her and for her colleagues at work as well. She has even found the confidence to support the girls who are new to the industry and inform them of their rights. She also feels confi­dent enough to speak up against her husband as she now knows her rights.

Prativa has taken dance classes at WOWOFON and starting next month, will teach dance as well. Meanwhile she hopes to be able to study further and get her certificate and furthermore she is plan­ning to work in WOWOFON as well in order to help and empower other women.

Laxmi Tamang(Lamjung)

Laxmi Tamang ended school after class 6. She eloped with her boyfriend which caused a dispute in the family – however, later her parents accepted her choice of husband. After 5 years of marriage she divorced her husband and he married another girl. Her family consists of her son and daughter. Because she never got her certificate she entered this industry but she was not paid regularly and when she did receive a payment it was a lot less than what her right. And so she left her job and today she is taking dance lessons at WOWOFON and in the near future she could like to have a tailoring shop.

Monika Lama (Chitwan)

Monika Lama never finished her education – she left school after class 5. She has been working in the industry for 4 years and has a son. Her husband is supportive of her and she currently sits in a board. Although she has never faced harassment at work herself she wants to advocate and speak against harassment and for the rights of women. This she feels is possible due to the confidence the trainings at WOWOFON has given her. She has been taking dance lessons at WOWOFON and plans to study further.

These are some of the stories of such victimised women. It is a matter of pity that women are molested in such places.Not only in such places, women are vicitims of rape, assault in most parts of pur country, Nepal. It was an amazing learning experience to have known about those women through WOFOWON and TEWA. Hats off to these organisations working for women, though, a lot is needed to be done.

Why do these discrimination exist regarding caste, gender , class, clan, race.. ?? teit!! To all the people first of all we are HUMAN BEINGS and if you don’t value the importance of this B’ful Life than just go to hell.. but u dont have the right to discrminate and intrude other’s LIFE. See this life from the HUMANITARIAN perspective.

Talking about me being a dalit youth,

My vision has changed from what i have experienced from the past.   Now, I perceive this world through Global perspective. I  have the vision to help others who are deprived of their rights but not like the so called high caste people who keep on humiliating and abusing people like me.

In Fact, these days i feel its good that i am a DALIT ; cause this makes me much more stronger than the person what i was in my past. I can easily distinguish who are the discriminators and what their intensions are!  I have become more responsible, more competitive and my skills: i think they are improving day by day and i can just say those hypocrites on their face –

” Yes! I am a DALIT and i live my life and have my vision far more better than yours in a  much more positive way”