A Case of Ramkali: Reflecting Learning of Literacy Classes into Daily Life

Ramkali Budhathoki, aged 39 lives at ward no. 6 (Barai) of Sarkegad RM, Humla district. During her childhood, her left hand and leg both were partially-paralyzed since her birth. Her parents could not afford for the treatment and assistive devices and she had to live her life as usual ever since. Although it was difficult for her to work with her one hand, she had to do most of the household chores. Her parents did not send her to school instead, at the age of 18, she was forced to get married to a person older than her and it has his second marriage. Also, she was misbehaved and discriminated in the family immediately after her marriage. Her family was totally dependent on farming that only sustained for only 6 months in a year. Because of her disability and illiteracy, even the community people were never allowed to be involved in any community development works, meetings, or discussions. But she had a desperate hope of coming out of this situation. Under the SAMARTHYA project funded by CISU, technical support by Mission East, and implemented by KIRDARC Nepal, she took active participation in literacy classes being a member of women group; from which, she enhanced about knowledge and skills on literacy (basic reading, writing, and numeric calculation), life skills, human rights issues, elimination of all forms of social problems and discriminations, saving and credits practices, sanitation and hygiene practice, services provided by local government, etc. Now, she is able to read books, write names, and do simple calculations. Taking part in social activities like participation in different campaigns, meetings, training are major foundations to boost her confidence. Support from the husband and community people has been improved in day-to-day activities as well. She began to receive disability welfare allowance provided by the government because she claimed her rights about the social security service assured by the government. Regarding income generation activities, she started rabbit farming for income generation. For this, she took two-day rabbit rearing training provided under the program. Meanwhile, her income source of earning has also been a major achievement. She is saving monthly saving in the women groups with a minimum of Rs. 200. As financial support for the livelihood activity, she received a loan of Rs. 10,000 from the group. From which, she bought 3 rabbits in June 2020 and she increased the number to 24. and she sold 18 rabbits with around Rs.1500 per rabbit. She has already returned back the loan and saved Rs. 10000. She is encouraged to increase her rabbit farming. She is able to save some portion of earning and spending on her children’s studies and family needs. She is saving monthly saving in the women groups with a minimum of Rs. 200. She has already returned back the loan and saved Rs. 10000. She is able to save some portion of earnings for her life insurance whereas the remaining earnings are spent on her children’s study and family needs. She is encouraged to increase her rabbit rearing activity. She states about future plan, “I will share my learning, experiences, and good practices to my family and other community people as I have learned from the women group. Regarding the income source, I want to increase the volume of rabbits farming and expand the business. I’ll further encourage other women and disabled persons to run businesses and do savings for the better in life.