Women learning masonry for financial independence in Nuwakot

Nuwakot, January 29

Bhim Kumari Badal, 30, of Khadgabhanjyang VDC, lost her husband four years ago. Her house was reduced to rubble by the Gorkha earthquake of April 2015.

A mother of two small children, Badal could hardly feed them for six months from the harvest of her field. “I want to work to manage two meals a day for my children, but I am not well educated and don’t have the competency for most jobs,” Badal said.

Badal recently joined a 50-day training on masonry along with 15 other people. The training was launched by the local Sahayata Social Organisation with the financial support of Oxfam in her village. A total of 14 women and two men are taking the training. “With the completion of the training, I hope to get employment in the locality itself. I am learning masonry sincerely,” said Badal. Bimala Pariyar, 22, of the locality has also been attending the training. Bimala’s husband is a tailor in India. “He stays in India for six months a year. He has little income, which is not sufficient to run the family. I thought of joining the training so that I could contribute financially for the family,” said Bimala.

She is confident of getting employment in the village after the training. “I am learning the work enthusiastically. My husband also encouraged me to learn it. My contribution will be crucial to manage the financial problems in the family later,” said Bimala.

A social mobiliser at the organisation Hem Bahadur KC said that women participants of the training were learning very sincerely and seriously. “We have prioritised women in the training. The candidates were selected through interview,” said KC.

The training is being run as per the CTEVT curriculum. Rural Infrastructure and Management Consultant overseer Bikram Chaudhary has been supervising the training and Badri Prasad Subedi and Krishna Prasad Badal are the lead trainers. Subedi and Badal had completed a week’s training provided by the social organisation earlier. The organisation has built a two-room stone masonry with cement, an earthquake resistant model house, in the government-owned land to practically guide the trainees. “Around Rs 2 million budget is required to build such a house. It will be handed over to the VDC later,” said sources.

According to Oxfam Nuwakot Settlement Officer Dipak Bahadur Singh, the trainees will be provided with level 1 certificate after successfully passing the examination taken by CTEVT. “After they obtain the certificate, they will be eligible and competent to build houses as per the government’s recommendation,” said Singh.

The government has made it public that it will begin masonry training in as many as 250 VDCs of the 31 quake-hit districts from February 7. “The government intends to mobilise those trained for the reconstruction of their locality. Hence, we are providing this training as per the government’s motive,” said Singh.

Earlier, as many as 515 locals attended a similar training held at Samari, Rautbeshi, Madanpur, Thaprek, Buddha Singh, Gamkharka, and Betini.

The training is being held at Thaprek, Madanpur and Khadgabhanjyang and a total of 48 participants are attending the training. Of them, 35 are female and 13 are male. The trainees are provided with Rs 300 daily allowance and women participants are provided with women-friendly clothes as well.

As many as 70,000 households were badly affected by the earthquake of April 2015 in Nuwakot. The district has 61 VDCs and one municipality. Nearly all the victims have reportedly already received the first installment of the government grant of Rs 50,000  meant for reconstruction of their damaged houses.

The stakeholders are confident that such kind of training will help mitigate the issue of skilled human resource crunch in the country.