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A Journey of My Life

I have always thought myself as a social worker even as a child. I loved helping poor and disabled people. After finishing class 12 in 2004, I was searching a job. I found a job as a volunteer in human right journalism forum with the help of my friend but that was not a job every parents want for their daughter. I was in dilemma but a job was very important to me. My minds were full of questions. Will my parents allow me to do this job? If they refused my opportunities; how will I convinced them? I had to work very far distance from my home and had to visit human rights violations area. At first my parents refused me but finally they also allowed me to work in this forum. I understood my life is the best because I had talked and met many people who were not able to eat food but still they had hope to do something to their country.

People lived in different ways in my village. Some people were poor and suffering from starvation. Government and some of the NGO’s were paying their attention to the people who were suffering from starvation. There is a group of people who had enough food but didn’t have enough money. Government and NGO’s thought that at least they had food to eat but people who had enough food and didn’t have enough money were also suffering. Similarly I did not give any attention to the situation because I also thought the same, but later it touched my heart when my neighbor lost his life due to lack of money.

Mr. Rudra was a good driver. Everyone liked him because he was handsome and had enough money; and whenever villagers were in trouble he helped as he could. Later he became a drunk and wasted his money in wine and alcohol so at last he didn’t have enough money for his treatment and he died from pneumonia. His body looked like a child’s at the end of his life. He begged the villagers for help but no one helped him. Instead of helping some people said, “It will be better for us if he is dead because at least the number of drunks will decrease and our children will not be influenced and involved in alcohol”.

At that time I realized how money is important for our basic needs. After his death his wife worked hard but sometimes she did not have enough food to feed her three children. One day I went to her home and she said, “Maiya (a form of showing love and respect to someone younger) it’s raining a lot and we have only one cup of rice. If the rain does not stop, we will die from starvation.” I was not impressed with the word Maiya but this sentence touched my heart. Her eldest daughter is 12 years old, but she looked older and thinner than her age. Her younger brother’s legs were like our arms and stopped playing with their friends to work in fields. Still now I remember her tears falling like rainfall. She was silent for a while and started laughing because my eyes were also full of tears. Their starvation hurt me, but I was too young to do anything.

This situation forced me to think about people’s financial position. I started to read newspaper and magazines; listened to the radio; talked with my friends, relatives and family members to improve people’s lives, and influence other people to save some money for their future. In my village when people had enough money they spent all in buying luxurious things. So if villagers saved a small amount every month, they could have some money for future needs. Similarly, Mr. Rudra should not have died at the age of 45.
I was listening to the radio; I heard one story from “Jiwan Jyoti” Program about an HIV infected man. He explained how HIV busted his life, family, job, friends and relatives. He was working in one company but his friends and manager insulted him so he left his office. Even his wife and neighbors told him to leave the village. Everyone hated him. This program was run by Saroj Prasad Koirala Memorial Foundation. I thought it would be a good idea if I told his story to our villagers and make a group of people to work. We gathered a group of ten people and made a radio shrota club named Prerana Jiwan Jyoti Radio Listener Club and wrote a letter requesting Martyr Saroj Prasad Koirala Memorial Foundation to send the poster and magazine and to certify our club.

After some months we got a reply. We started our project by holding a meeting. I prepared a draft and presented how we would work. Some of our members were against the draft because they were shy to talk about HIV/AIDS. This was a difficult period for me but I convinced them. We established the club and started working but later it became difficult to run the club without money. I talked with my family, friends and relatives but they did not give any attention to our problems. It was an awareness program but I also wanted to bring change in people’s lives, especially my neighbor’s life which touched my heart.

My father talked about the micro-credit run by Grameen Bank in Nepal. They formed a group of people, collected deposits and lent them to members. My father suggested starting a savings club every month. I saw a dream to change the financial situation of people. I was impressed with this theory but it was difficult to run. We did not have money. How will we give loans? Who will take them? How much to loan? Did we have enough balance? I talked with my sister Sushma about a savings club and she suggested not thinking deeply because she said I was small at that time. She also said, “Our governments have to think about this situation. If you really want to change people’s life, first you should finish your studies and find a job related to this field.”
I was thinking about the saving club so I made a proposal and submitted a copy to the meeting to collect RS.15 every month and rename the club name, “Women’s Savings Club” so that we could use the money whenever we want. Everyone accepted the proposal so it began with depositing fifteen rupees from each of the ten founders every month. Fifteen Nepalese rupees translate to about $0.23 U.S. cents. The first month the money was used to buy pens and ledgers for keeping records. The second, third, and fourth month the money was set-aside for savings. By the sixth month, we increased the monthly deposits to twenty rupees. The first couple of loans we gave were for sums of five hundred rupees, about $7.50 U.S. dollars to Mr. Rudra’s wife to buy seeds and fertilizer for her vegetable farming. These loans were faithfully paid back with interest, equal to the money we deposited per month. This capital is transforms into bigger loans that in turn yield more interest which creates attention to our members. And just like that, a microfinance organization was borne. Over the next few years, our Women’s Savings Club would provide loans for an astonishing 20,000 rupees, about $300. These loans are to educate children and improve businesses and crops. Eventually, every woman in the village would join. Now we collect Rs. 50 per month and have total Rs.80, 000 about $1,200.
While providing loan, we would follow these policies:-
• Loans last six months.
• Installments are paid monthly 2% of total loan.
• Repayment starts one month after the loan.
• The interest rate is 2% for club member and 2.5% for others.
There are many ways to help people. The saving club was my first step to change people’s lives. I succeeded convincing people but the major problem was there. Sometimes we felt insecure to collect the money because we hold meetings in the open place. Unfortunately still now we don’t have office, chairs and tables.

Later in 2008, I got full scholarship from AUW in Bangladesh. Now I am here at Access Academy. Every thing is free of charges and I am getting more than I had expected. I am here but I had promised after finishing my university I will return back to my country and bring change in women’s lives.

Sunita

Comments

Fatima Waziri's picture

Oh wow! very inspiring story.

Oh wow! very inspiring story. It only goes to show that we always need to do what we need to do so that we can do what we want to do. Keep up doing what you do and i know we will be great things and bring change to your community.

God bless you

Peace!
Fatima

sunita.basnet's picture

Thanks for your Comments

Yes Fatima you are right. We need to have the vision and if we continue our work even when we are in dilemma One day we will achieve our goal. Thank you so much for your comment.

Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

sunita.basnet's picture

Thanks for your comments

Yes Fatima you are right. We need to have the vision and if we continue our work even when we are in dilemma One day we will achieve our goal. Thank you so much for your comment.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Jensine's picture

I admire you so much

What spirit and courage you have! It seems as though you were born knowing who you are, and with fire and desire to change the world for the better. You have already changed so many lives...... the future is full of never ending possibilities for you. You have a voice that can uplift a whole nation. Congratulations on living your dream.
Don't ever stop thinking big!
Love,

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

sunita.basnet's picture

Thank you for your admiration

Spirit and courage are from my father but the war and poverty forced me to think of myself and my nation. I borned in a small conservative village about 500 villagers. Only few people are educated and female are forced to marriage in their young age about 15 years old but my father wanted me and my sisters to be educated and change our village first and gradually in nepal. Due to his inspiration even I born in conservative village now I am in Bangladesh studying in full scholarship.
I wanted to develop myself first and make a network in every country and bring changes in people's lives. For me worldpulse is a best way to make my global community.
Thanks for your comment.
Sunita

Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Dear Jensine,
On july 17 2009, I am returning back to my motherland Nepal. I am planning to arrange an informal meeting with worldpulse members and some of AUW students from Nepal. I am thinking to gather and discuss how to bring changes in women's lives through education in the context of Nepal. So Can you please send me list of world pulse members from Nepal. I have AUW worldpulse member list. I have also send request to khusbu and Usha regarding this. Is there anyone except those two?
Looking forward your reply.
Thanks you
With Love and regards
Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

JaniceW's picture

Nepal members

Sunita, I so admire what you are doing. I do not have the complete list right now but here is a list of members who recently joined from Nepal:

http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1990
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1649
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1788
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1895
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1450

We have started to create a list of members from AUW. Let me know if I missed anyone:
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1780
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1830
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1773
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1837
http://www.worldpulse.com/node/7938
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/1944
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/2032

As I get more information, I'll let you know. I would be thrilled if after your meeting, you would share with us the group's thoughts, ideas and dreams. Best wishes and have a safe trip.

sunita.basnet's picture

Dear Jacine, Thank you so

Dear Jacine,
Thank you so much for helping me by providing the nepaliworldpulse member information. I send to all of the above mentioned members and Ms. Sumitra had already accepted to join the program . I am looking forward to join other.
This program will held after july 17 2009 because i am returning back to nepal in july 17.
Once again thank you so much for helping me.
With Love and regards
Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

sunita.basnet's picture

Thanks for your admiration

Spirit and courage are from my father but the war and poverty forced me to think of myself and my nation. I borned in a small conservative village about 500 villagers. Only few people are educated and female are forced to marriage in their young age about 15 years old but my father wanted me and my sisters to be educated and change our village first and gradually in nepal. Due to his inspiration even I born in conservative village now I am in Bangladesh studying in full scholarship.
I wanted to develop myself first and make a network in every country and bring changes in people's lives. For me worldpulse is a best way to make my global community.
Thanks for your comment.
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

bina's picture

I am highly Impressed

Dear Sunita,

I am really impressed by your story,Wanted to know more about.Tell me this radio program'.jiban jyoti" is what time comes ,I am very much interested to hear.I wanted to know you more ,from which part of nepal.I mean which conservative village.All women have to learn spirit and courage from your father.

Warm regard
Bina

Dear Bina,
Namaskar friend,
Thank you so much for your comment and i appologized for replying you late. Sure, I will tell you about Jiban Jyoti program. This program is organized by Saroj Prasad Koirala Memorial Foundation which is in Balwatar Kathmandu. This is the address SAHID SAROJ PRASAD KOIRALA MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
Baluwatar 4417927
Kathmandu
Fax: 977-1-4412829
It used to come on friday at 7pm but now they have stopped the radio program because of fund. They couldn't afford the money to run the program. The program name was "Jiwan Jyoti" and is about HIV/AIDS.

I am from Mirgouliya-8, Morang, Koshi Nepal. It is in the eastern part of Nepal. What about you from? Can you please tell me something about you? Once again thank you so much for your inspiring words.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Auma's picture

You are a powerful woman,Sunita.

This is quite inspiring.Sometimes we are not aware of how far small gestures can go into changing lives of communities.Thank you for being here.We too need your voice and we will surely learn a lot from you.

All the best,

Leah.

Dear Auma,
At first I was worried when some of my friends didn't support me but there were some friends who really support and encourage when I was fraustrated. I saw many people from a small change people have bring a big difference in their life but we never give attention to it. Most of the time we look only what we can get/ earn at present but we forget to think about future. When we are in trouble then we think if only............. But still we have time to do something lets do together to bring change in people lives.
Thanks for your comment.
Sunita Basnet

Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Dear Auma,
At first I was worried when some of my friends didn't support me but there were some friends who really support and encourage when I was fraustrated. I saw many people from a small change people have bring a big difference in their life but we never give attention to it. Most of the time we look only what we can get/ earn at present but we forget to think about future. When we are in trouble then we think if only............. But still we have time to do something lets do together to bring change in people lives.
Thanks for your comment.
Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Nipo's picture

Go ahead my friend

Sunita,

You know how much I admire you. I am glad to have you as my friends . You have the power to make your dream comes true. You are just proving it by your this article. I was very exited when I saw your article here. I think you have allready feel the impact of your effective wirtings .

At the end I just want to request you to smile all the time .

Be happy

Your friend

Nipo

Nipo

sunita.basnet's picture

I appreciate your suggestion

Dear Nipo,
As we are in same university and same class you know me very well. I am also glad to have you as my bangladeshi friend. Thanks for your request I will apply it in my future. As we all know smile is a key to succeed in our life.
Thank you so much.
With Love
Sunita

Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

sunita.basnet's picture

I appreciate your suggestion

Dear Nipo,
As we are in same university and same class you know me very well. I am also glad to have you as my bangladeshi friend. Thanks for your request I will apply it in my future. As we all know smile is a key to succeed in our life.
Thank you so much.
With Love
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

sunita.basnet's picture

I admired you too.........

Dear Janice,
Thank you again for sending me more members information. The meting will held after july 17. I will be informing your how the aaranging are going on, who are attainding from worldpulse member of Nepal and how it goes.
You Welcome.
Thank you so much for your help. I am please to meet you and admire you too.
With Love and regards
Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Dear Janice,
Namaskar from Nepal
Thank you so much for your reference to Cloclo. How are you? I feel like it has been really a long time, I am far from world pulse. This is because I was in vacation and was also suffering from viral fever. Now I am fine. In the vacation, I went to Dhaka-the capital city of Bangladesh, with my Bangladeshi friend but couldn't do as I planned.

Dear Janice, today I have both emotions happy and sad. I am happy because I am selected. But I am sad because of the world pulse result. I hope all will continue their blogging and inspired each other. Somehow I can feel they are sad.

Janice, did you remember last time I talked about organizing meeting in Kathmandu to discuss about "How to educate all children especially girls in the context of Nepal. I have found the place with the help of my friend. Anjana Luitel, one of the World pulse participator from Nepal is also helping me to conduct this meeting. Below are the lists currently who are attending for the program.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

JaniceW's picture

Namaste

Sunita, I'm sorry that you have been unwell and hope that by the time you read this, your health has been restored. It is so annoying to be sick when you are travelling and I hope that you still managed to have fun in Dhaka.

Congratulations on being selected to go on with VOF. It was a difficult decision as there were so many amazing applicants but we are hoping that their voices will continue to rise on PulseWire and continue to engage the community as they did before.

I am so excited about your meeting in Kathmandu and am glad you are receiving support for this function. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with at this end. The list did not appear on your message so if you could forward that to me again, that would be great.

With all the political upheaval and instability right now in Nepal, I feel even more strongly that a hopeful future for the country lies in the hands of activists such as yourself. I have been following the developments and hope a resolution is met without bloodshed and violence. It is good to see so many citizens coming together to speak out and have their voices heard but I worry about their safety, given past protests. I will keep you all in my thoughts and look forward to a peaceful resolution soon. Big hug,
Janice

Sunita, it is through the following article that I begin to appreciate your courage and the gravity of the situation in Nepal. Thank you for reminding us how much work is still needed to bring peace, economic prosperity and stability to your country. With all the positive stories we hear from members such as yourself on PulseWire, we forget how fragile Nepal is. I so applaud the efforts of courageous women like you, who dare to speak out and in turn, educate us on the challenges facing citizens in Nepal every day. You are a role model for the women of your country and of this world. I wish you all the best with your studies and impatiently wait for you to graduate as I know that you will move mountains once you return to Nepal. It is an honour to know you.

Excerpt from Amnesty International Report:
One year on from their election to power, the Maoist Government of Nepal has failed to deliver on its promises to protect women, Amnesty International said today. Evidence of this failure can be found in the treatment of women activists campaigning for human rights who are the victims of beatings, sexual attacks and murder, with no significant effort made to bring the perpetrators to justice."
http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/nepal-government-fail...

Dear JaniceW,
'Namaskar' from Nepal
Thank you so much for your inspiring words. You are the one who always inspire me to build courage and raise my voice. And also for the link of amnesty international who is working hardly to promote human right in Nepal. I also read the article.It’s embarassing for Maoist, who were fighting for people rights for 12 years are also fail to protect human rights. It's my pleasure to be the member of world pulse and get chance to write about me and my country. I hope so to achieve my goal let’s see how much I can achieve my goal.
I was far from World pulse for 10 days because I went to Dhaka with my friend. I felt like I missed some parts of my body that realized me and world pulse is inseparable.
Dear JaniceW, some minutes ago I have accepted your friend request. I was thinking to add you in my friend list but with the blessing of god you understand me and send a friend request. Thank you so much.
With Love and regards
Sunita

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Dear Janice,
Please do not feel bore as I am commenting so much. While I am writing this, my mind is trying to think something else about Nepal. Nepal prime minister resigned from the government. Now there is a political crises in the country but some other 20 parties are trying to figure out the solution by forming joint government. This is a new updates about Nepal politics.
For more detail please visit this site
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8032389.stm

Sunita Basnet

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Victoria Vorosciuc's picture

I love your story!!

Seems like you are decided which path to follow!!!
Very ambitious!

I hope your community gets to benefit from all you are doing!!!!

Keep it on!!!

Victoria

Victoria Vorosciuc
Project Coordinator
"Empowering women to participate
in community life"
WorldPulse Media Corresspondent

sunita.basnet's picture

I am glad

I am glad that you are inspired from my work. Thank you so much for oyur beautiful words.
love much

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

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