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Ingrained with Grain Fear

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They say now the World is a different place, is it so? I wonder. Nevertheless, humankind has reached a zenith of technological advances, from a remote controlled Robot to the hybrid rice on my lunch plate. But sufferings are also getting new identities in this new millennium, Climate change, Food Security are some of the emerging problems.

Grown and brought up in the eastern world, enculturation of certain values and norms is quite normal to me. It’s a bad omen in my culture to leave food on one’s plate, and you must finish up, no leftovers! I am bound to this vow every single day and make sure I don’t leave any mess on my plate. But one fine morning I didn’t feel like eating and I’d had to break my kitchen rules, and for which, my mother told me, “Luna, this is not good, when you waste one grain of rice, you’ll have to pay for it someday. Think about the poor who don’t have anything to eat. We can save grains for them” The last remark about the hungry people was something distracting to me.

Living an urban life doesn’t certainly enlighten me the real life situation in the rural areas, those living in geographically inaccessible parts of my country. There is a chronic food scarcity in the mid and far western parts of Nepal I’d read somewhere. I goggled in the internet to get a glimpse of the severity of food scarcity.
When I get paranoid about Food Safety and hygiene at my home, my poor folks at those famine driven districts prioritize Food Security, understandable no food so no question of safety. I realized my mistake throwing food in the trash. Had it been made available to any of those empty tummies, it would have been a blessing.

Jajarkot, Achham and Dailekh are the major districts worst affected by food shortage. I went through a piece of news where a local woman from Jajarkot shared her biggest fear of how and what to feed her children each day. There’s no guarantee that her little ones would get fed at least twice a day, here she didn’t care about herself because she is a mother, just a voiceless woman.

I tried to trace the events these women go through, in general. With no education and no proper guidance these women get married at a very early age, produce many children and lead a very crude life. There’s a growing trend of males of these districts migrating to the neighboring India in search of livelihood. As a result of which these women are, literally, in a state of nowhere. From morning till midnight they have to play different roles from a doting father to a loving mother.

Though I’ve not yet reached these hunger driven places of Nepal, I’ve tried to envision those Voiceless women. They have to stay with what they get as an aid from donors or government subsidized commodities. The amount of food grains is not enough to feed many hungry mouths back at home. It’s a real life situation of many of Nepalese women residing in famine zones. What a pity!

For these women, all these sufferings are part of their fate, A Bad Star, indeed. They speak neither human rights agendas nor protest for their rights as a citizen as their horizon is sandwiched between family and children. None of these women knows when their plight for food will come to an end. It seems a tall order for them because they lack a voice in unison to be heard by the state and the authorities concerned. As a Narrator of the Crisis, I’ve tried to throw some light on these women’s ingrained fear for GRAIN.

Comments

JaniceW's picture

Women and Poverty

Luna,
Namaskar. Thank you for shedding light on this issue in Nepal. It seems that there are a number of factors that contribute to the high state of poverty including lack of land ownership, age of the household head, and the lack of livelihood opportunities outside of the home.

Poverty is highest among households where the head is illiterate. These households tend to rely on agriculture for their livelihood, have more children than non-poor households, own less land and lack adequate access to good healthcare and sanitation facilities. Religious and social norms also bar some women from leaving the households to find work.

Educating young girls thus becomes a priority as through education they learn that they have rights and can stand up for them. Educated women then go on to teach the women of their villages and empower them with the tools and knowledge to create a better life for themselves. The ripple effect is profound but only with education can they grab a foothold to advance themselves.

I look forward to reading more from you as you become more aware of the challenges your sisters in Nepal face and solutions that can bring about change. Hardik subhakamana,
Janice

Luna's picture

Thank you Janice for those

Thank you Janice for those kind remarks, I really appreciate. Most important of all, you have shown a good deal of interest and understanding regarding this situation. Whatever you have put forward as causes and effects certainly holds true and as a citizen I feel I owe to my sisters.
Looking forward. Your Nepali is very good. Dhanyabaad for your comments.
Regards
Luna

jadefrank's picture

Food scarcity

Dearest Luna,

Food scarcity is indeed a problem in many regions of the world - and Nepal is no exception. Often time, poverty is directly linked to gender equality. There is an interesting article that you might enjoy reading from the most recent edition of World Pulse Magazine. This article links poverty to lack of land rights for women. Let me know what you think about it:
http://www.worldpulse.com/magazine/articles/the-high-stakes-of-land

Please also join the PulseWire group Falcha, a space where Nepali women in our community can meet each other and discuss issues as well as find solutions to make the lives of Nepalese women much simpler.

http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/groups/15419

Warm regards,
Jade

Luna's picture

Hello

Thank you Jade

Whatever I wrote in my article, it is not complete and not on the basis of what I've really seen in the field. Because I've this grown interest in Food security, I tried to explore the condition of Nepal taking women in a Center. I've a keen interest and genuine urge to help my folks here in Nepal as an educated young girl. I've few more burning issues to understand and study about Nepalese women which I will publish sometimes sooner.

Food security is a global issue for now and we can't ignore the fact that multitude of factors are linked to it. your suggested article is indeed an eye opener, at least for me at this moment. "Land rights for women" is a completely new alternative as I find it.

The article is a full package to understand the benefits of "Land rights" as well as the different projects that work in alignment with women and their sufferings. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and yeah! I joined Falcha.

Looking forward
Best Wishes
Luna

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