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Flash Back: Life as it goes

I am not convinced myself, how it was possible to have all these opportunities being born in a small remote village, where still there is no any school, no telephone, no internet, no any national or international organization. Nothing just a small village of around 500 people mostly women and children.

All the achievement, I have received so far is sometimes like a nightmare for myself. I still remember those days, where I have to wake up early in the morning, clean and tidy the house and utensils, feed cattle and clean their house and get ready for school. The school was almost 1 hour from the house, so I have to eat my meals as soon as possible and run for the school. Many times I was late for the school. It’s not just me but many of my girlfriends.

Sometimes in the class, when I didn’t understand the lecture from the teacher, I used to stand up and asked the questions but every time when I ask the question, the boys used to laugh so loudly and the girls (even my best friend) used to star at me. Many times I even fought with boys and one day I dare to complain about it the principal. Instead of providing any solution, the principal who was also my father friend kindly request me to wait for some days. After couple of days, the school introduces the office hour system for students who seek extra help from the teacher. I was happy with the system thinking that at least my problem solved but that was another way to discourage girl to speak in the classroom and raise questions.

But at least there was an alternative for us (girls) to ask questions. I still remember the days in the school where we have two toilets one for students and another for teachers. The teacher’s toilet was exclusively for teachers and the student toilets used to share by girls and boys. Most of the times, we used to go to farmer’s paddy field, which was next to our school, for toilet purpose because of the boys. Many of my friends didn’t come to school during their menstruation time only because we didn’t have enough and separate toilets for girls and boys. These days were during my secondary level school but now many things have changed. The school which was government run school has been now managed by community. There are separate toilets for girls and boys but still not enough. More than 800 students share these two toilets where more than 50% are girls in the school.

I am sharing this because being grown up in this type of environment; I have never thought neither imagined that I will go out of the country. I still remembered that my classmates who were boys always dreamed and prepared to go to Kathmandu (capital city of our country and out of the country. Since my English was good among all in the class, my friends used to suggest me to go to Kathmandu and continue my college. Even going to Kathmandu for me was a nightmare at that time. Neither I have confidence nor do I have any one to encourage and support me to go to the capital city of my country. I was not even allowed to stay one night in my relatives house, how can I dream to go to Kathmandu?

IMPOSSIBLE!!

However, my father was very supportive for my education. He was the one who supported me despites of various challenges he faced from my community for sending me to college and university in a city. He was the one who used to give me pocket money for snack during my college life because I had to spend around four hours just for traveling (both going and coming) to the college. I have to wake up 4am every day to get ready to college and return to home at 2pm every day. We do not have bus from the college so I have waited hours and hours waiting for a bus. Sometimes even the bus would not allow us to get inside even if we told them that we will pay full bus fare (The bus fare was Rs. 5 (0.07$) but as a student discount we used to pay Rs. 1(0.01$)). Sometimes we do not even have money to pay the student discounted bus fare so we used to borrow from friends. Now the student bus fare has been reached to 0.07$. The entire price has been reached the peak. Recently, my husband went to Nepal for his research and he wrote this in his status “The price of the basic needs to everything else in Nepal seems to have already skyrocketed...yet, I can see tsunami of people around market areas- a great dilemma of Nepalese societies. I don't know how people can celebrate festivals in Nepal under the given situation!!! me have to try to be economic after all and be happier at the same time!!! ”. Those days were so exhausting.

If the above statements continue for some years, there is no doubt that the more exhausting days are coming soon in the future. Again, My father was the one who told me about Asian University for Women which is located in Bangladesh. He was the one who encouraged me to apply for the scholarship and take me to Kathmandu for the written exam and interview after I was selected in short list. I had never imagined that I will go to Kathmandu and then to Bangladesh. It was my first time to fly in an airplane. I was so frightened and scared. I don’t have words to explain. Some of my Nepalese friend’s were from very good private school; they talked English very well in the reception with the representative of AUW. I was little shy, I could understand half of what they were saying. I used to answer them either Yes or No or sentence in broken language. Now it made me laugh when I remembered the first day in Bangladesh.

Although now I left AUW, I am very thankful to that university. AUW has been eye-opening place for me. Many people I have met in AUW and through AUW are very inspiring and supportive. I got chance to participate in VOF 2009 competition and AUW help me supportive 24 hours internet facility and laptop. Isn’t it amazing? But for some reasons, I left AUW to start my master degree here in Korea. Last year was the most fabulous year in the history of my life. The beginning of the year, I got chance to attend One Young World Summit in London and meet around 800 young people around the globe who cares about our generation. This was only possible with the help of Janice wong, world pulse member. I am very indebted to her for helping me and encourage me in my every step. After couples of month, I won a IWHC young visionary grant 2010 with the help of One young World and World pulse media members. With the amount I won, I get chance to organized free health clinic and street drama back in my community. It was a very fruitful experience.

After some months, then I was went to USA for Media tour award from World pulse where I visited five different states and talk in more than 10 different places including US department of States. Immediately upon my return, the first TED women conference invited me for my talk in in Washington Dc so again I moved to USA. The opportunities were pouring one another and all of these opportunities help me to meet many likeminded people and share my stories.

A month ago, I went to Zurich, Switzerland to lead the resolution again at second one young World Summit. at this time, my world pulse mentor Carol Annderson and again Janice helped me to attend this wonderful summit. Till now I have already visited, India, Bangladesh, UK, Norway, USA, Switzerland, Korea and I have spend sometimes in Bahrain, Dubai, Qatar, Turkey and Honkong. I have never imagined even going to Kathmandu but now I am exploring the world and meeting with people from various countries. Have I miss anything else??

Below is a small letter from Jade that inspires me to write this long journey.
“Hello sisters Hope, Jackie, and Sunita,
As the 2011 tour approaches and the World Pulse team prepares for a 2nd tour, I can't help but become overwhelmed with emotion and memories of the unforgettable journey I was honored to take part in with you three visionaries.
I remember riding the trolley in sunny San Francisco. I remember watching each of you share your story in front of captivated audiences, and being moved to tears each time I heard you spoke of your struggles, your triumphs, your leadership, and your visions. I remember laughing and laughing and laughing. I remember a van of giggling, beautiful women pulling up at the Denver airport to pick me up and embracing each of you in person, like a dream, women who I had come to admire and love from across the oceans and who I now call my sisters.

It is a bit bittersweet to embark on a tour without you, I am also excited to know these three women who are stepping into a legacy that you each created, and who will carry the flame that you lit with your voices.
Sending love to all of you and gratitude for your courage.
xoxo
Jade”

Thank you Jade for your inspiring letter.
The lesson I have learnt from my life is that Keep your hard work, love yourself and accept the challenge and find someone who can inspire, encourage and support you. Dream about your future, One day you will achieve sooner or later.

Comments

Stella Paul's picture

Thanks for sharing

Dear Sunita

There are so stories that never lose relevance and never become old. Stories that capture a person's journey from sorrows to happiness, hopelessness to hope and loss to achievement are stories that are eternally moving. Your story, my sister, is one like that(Personally what I feel is that your and mine stories are so similar) And I thank you for sharing your story once again. It will inspire scores of women who will read it.

As you go places, winning hearts, I can tell that you my best wishes and love will go with you.

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

sunita.basnet's picture

Re: Warm Love

Dear Stella,

Yes I totally agree with you and thanks for your inspiring words. I am glad that my story can be an inspiring course for others especially for women.

Once again thanks for your wonderful wishes and love. Now I feel your warm love.

thanks
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

wao! This is interesting. I read your article with so much great passion. indeed inspiring.
there are a couple of issues that outstood for me;

- the school toilets conditions and the student peer / teacher relation
- your personal to where you are at the moment.

In brief reacting to those issues and beginning with the current toilet conditions, i strongly see a big lesson to draw from that experience. In the sense that community participation has proven to be the most efficient way of getting everybody involve. You can even see for yourself that unlike in your days, now more than ever the communities feel some sense of responsibility and ownership. They now realize that the toilets are theirs and not a kind of state imposture on them. Though the amelioration is not very successful - nonetheless, it is far better than in the past.

My next remark is on the way you analyzed the school (office) hours for student to seek for extra assistance. Indeed, that is perfectly true - as much as it is a means to provide support- on the other hand, many girls the shy ones won’t attempt to ask question while in class, rather they will prefer to do it during the special hours.

i can’t stop smiling and feeling so happy, knowing that what was once seen as to be impossible is now very possible. Thank you dear sister for sharing this brilliant story. it is going to serve as inspiration to many. i love your story.
take care

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

sunita.basnet's picture

Re: Encouragement

Dear Zoneziwoh,

Yes, you are my inspiring reader who always encourage me to write more and more. "I read your article with so much great passion." I am very glad to read this sentence.

Yes, I totally agree with you. The responsibility of community and the ownership has much more positive impact inthat school not only that but also community forest in Nepal are a role model to protect the forest.

Thanks for your smile . You are always with me in my jouurney.

I will write more in the future.

with love
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Dando's picture

Gal!

you are blessed and a blessing to others

continue with the hard work cause what you saw, you will reap
and most of all pray to the Almight God to grate you wisdom.

all the best.

sunita.basnet's picture

Thank you

Dando dear!!

Thank you so much for your wonderful wishes. You are also blessing for many girls. SInce I met you I found you so inspiring and encouraging.

Thank you,

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

joyacomeaux's picture

What a wonderful success story!

Sunita,

Kudos to you and your father!

The opportunities that you have experienced is not only a testimony to education and the benefit of WorldPulse.com, but it gives hope to all women.

Thank you for sharing, and I wish you all the best in your exciting journey of life.

As you had no clue in the past, who can know where it will lead in the future?

love,
joya

sunita.basnet's picture

Re: Sucessful story

Dear Joya,
Yes I totally agree with you on what you have said about the benefits of educatioin. Indeed its a hope for many especially women.

Thanks for your wonderful wishes. And yeah again, "The future is unknown and is going to be more challenging". Totaaly agreed "As you had no clue in the past, who can know where it will lead in the future?".

Thanks for reading my story.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Jensine's picture

We are cheering you on Sunita!

Dearest Sunita -
I echo the words of our dear Jade. It is bittersweet, and we miss you SO MUCH here. But we know that you are a shooting star, and no one can contain your light. Your destiny is bigger than anyone can imagine. We will continue to cheer you on and love you with all our hearts. Remember to breathe and care for yourself. It is only just beginning and your voice will lift the lives of millions of girls!!

Love,
Jensine

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

sunita.basnet's picture

Huraaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Dear Jensine,

Its so wonderful to hear from you after a long time. These days am quite busy since my thesis writing has started and lots of other volunteering work. Thats does not mean I don't want to write in WOrld Pulse or I don't miss you all. I am badly missing you all, but the only constraint is the time limit we all face in our daily life.

Yes veru true. no doubt on what you have said but just need some time and all of your supports and encouragement.

:))

Onc agian thanks alot for your inspiring words. you are always an inspiration for me.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Ariee's picture

sunni di

you've been an wonderful inspiration for me

Astha Joshi

sunita.basnet's picture

Yes Asthu

First of all Happy Dashai to you and all the AUW friends especially Nepalese. I miss you all.

I feel so blessed andhonored to hear from so many people that I have been an inspiration to some extend.

Astha, you are also a raising start, which I see and feel it from what you are doing.

With love

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

usha kc's picture

Dear sis, Reading your flash

Dear sis, Reading your flash back made me feel like its my own! :) as we all village girls are facing same experiences. No doubt you are an inspiration for million and one of among million is non other than me.
thank you for sharing.

love

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