The opportunity created by Covid-19
Maya Pun Magar Budhathoki is living with her mother-in-law, husband, two sons and one daughter in Ghorahi Sub-metropolitan 12, Narewang. She had joined the center no 145 of Atmanirbhar LBS (former Rural Women Development Center-RWDC) as a member of Hariyali Mahila Utthan Kendra after receiving pre-entry training some four years ago.
She woke up in the morning, cleaned the house, cooked food, grazed cows and goats. This was her family's daily routine. After the birth son and daughter, her family faced financial difficulties to get a good education. She did housework all day, traditionally went to agriculture, but could not make a living from this business.
This family routine work hardly could meet their both ends meet throughout the year. It was very difficult to change new clothes in a year. They were getting poorer day by day. When the sons and daughters of others went to the English school, they could do nothing but only stare at them.
When other people's sons and daughters went to schools wearing dresses, ties and shoes, her son and daughter would ask her, "When will we be able to go to school like this?" Her family had to wait until major festivals to eat some sweets and wear new clothes. Sometimes the daily wage work was done. After that, her husband got in touch with a brick contractor in Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, and he started working on a daily wage in the brick kiln. But her husband had to return to Dang after the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic was imposed across the nation to curb Covid-19. This situation further deteriorated their financial situation. She wanted to do some small business, but there was no one to give loans to this family under such critical situation. After that, she started knocking on the door of the Aatmanirbhar LBS. This institution became a gift for her. From this financial institution she received Rs. 180,000 as a loan. She used some of her own lands, took some lands on lease and started cultivating vegetables such as tomatoes, beans and potatoes commercially along with her husband. This made them very excited. They raised goats also besides vegetables, which made their faces shine later. As a result they have become successful entrepreneurs in the surroundings. Nowadays, they have planted beans in 10 kathas of land, tomatoes in 9 kathas, cauliflower in 1 katha and raised 35 goats. Last year alone, they earned Rs. 500,000 as profit after deducting all expenses. Covid-19 has taught them the lesson that they should do something in their own place, while Aatmanirbhar LBS provided them with the most accessible financial services. "Without the financial support of Aatmanirbhar LBS, we would not have achieved what we have today," said Maya Pun Magar Budhathoki.