Single woman (name removed for privacy) Family
Single mother: Single woman (name removed for privacy), Aged 34
Daughters: 1st daughter, 10 years old daughter
2nd daughter, 7 years old daughter
3rd daughter, 4 years old daughter
Single woman (name removed for privacy)’s life is a proof of courage and resilience that is illuminating the hardship faced by underprivileged single mothers and the determination they possess to overcome the even most atrocious situations and this for the sake of their children!
Born and raised to poor, landless parents in a small village nestled amidst the rough landscapes of Parbat district, Single woman (name removed for privacy)’s childhood was beset with a lack of everything that makes a happy childhood. Food shortage and inadequate clothing made hunger and cold a hateful companion.
As the harsh reality of these undesired girls has it, she had to work from the tender age of five and obey to the iron rules that govern these remote parts of Nepal, where everything is about bare survival; survival of the toughest!
Single woman (name removed for privacy)’s childhood ended at the age of five and from this day she never cried again; tears don’t flow from this level of existence where emotions of self-pity are petrified.
When time came to join the school, Single woman (name removed for privacy) got up at five in the morning to do her household chores and at eight she would walk almost two hours to the distant school and this during the cold winter and the scorching heat of the summer, and this barefoot and all too often on an empty stomach.
After finishing class five her parents forced her to leave the school and she had to work day in, day out, from morning to night to add to the family’s meager income.
When Single woman (name removed for privacy) reached the age of twenty, a tractor driver who plowed the fields where she was laboring became attracted to this pretty young woman.
The next day he stopped by, climbed down from his tractor, looked into Single woman (name removed for privacy)’s eyes and asked her if she would marry him. He was a strong young man and he promised her a better and happier life. Without much reflection Single woman (name removed for privacy) just said “thik chha” (the meaning of this can be translated as: it’s ok, or alright). After all, what did she have to lose!
Since the young couple belonged to different casts and social status, her parents didn’t agree and Single woman (name removed for privacy) decided to run away and seek her luck with this 22-year-old man. They married and moved to her husband’s family. For Single woman (name removed for privacy) her quality of life improved since Mekh provided a regular income but her relationship with the unsympathetic and dominating in-laws remained difficult.
In the coming years Single woman (name removed for privacy) gave birth to three beautiful daughters and the caring and loving mother gave her best for her daughters to have a happy childhood.
In the year 2020 her husband suddenly fell seriously ill! He was rushed to the nearest regional Hospital and received medical treatments, but a few days later he succumbed to his undiagnosed disease. Bereaved Single woman (name removed for privacy) was devastated and filled with despair, but she couldn’t cry, tears don’t flow from a place of deepest anguish.
In Nepal, young widows are socially stigmatized and ostracized and no matter what caused the death of their husbands, they are made responsible for his demise. It is for this reason that the suicide rate by young widows is alarmingly high in Nepal.
From this day her in-law’s treated Single woman (name removed for privacy) and her daughters with hostility and outright hatred. They were abusive, refused to share the food with them and they made life hell for Single woman (name removed for privacy) and her daughters and this with the crude intention to drive them out of their house.
When the situation became unbearable, Single woman (name removed for privacy), who has the heart of a lioness decided to leave and seek her luck in Pokhara, the nearest city. With no one to turn to for help and no place to go she ended up in Pokhara’s biggest slum. In spite of all the odds they were facing and with unbending courage and fighting-spirit, she managed to survive with her three daughters aged 4, 7, and 10. However, it was barely survival in an environment of misery, despair and imminent danger.
When “BEF” was conducting a “Women’s right and legal awareness program” in this slum, and this on the occasion of “Women’s-Day” she contacted us and an application was filed.
After assessment of her situation and the urgency of this case, “BEF” decided to support this family without much delay.
As from the month of June this family is under our wings and we are providing them with everything that is necessary for a life in safety and in dignity. Most importantly all her daughters are going to school while Single woman (name removed for privacy) is working.
For them our support is a quantum-leap in their evolution. Coming from the lowest rung of the social ladder, from now we are going to uplift them and support them in climbing this ladder step by step to a life without suppression and discrimination.
This is vision in action as we apply it, this is prevention of worst forms of abuse and discrimination; this is sustainability in the truest sense.
A heartfelt thank you to all of you: our partners who are standing by our side and let us all bear in mind that thousands more such families are in dire need of help.
It’s simple, It’s simply BEF
Surendra, Raymond & TEAM