Women plough fields as males leave villages

Surkhet, October 5:

Ploughing the field used to be a man’s job, but not anymore. Women here have started tilling the land after men started leaving the villages.

Laxmi Rana (30), a resident of Mehalkuna-2 has been ploughing the field from the time she was 10 years old.

Local lore has it that it is bad omen if women plough the fields. Yet, seeing Laxmi, other women have taken to ploughing their fields.

“I ploughed the fields by myself as my husband used to go to India in search of a job,” said Laxmi. “I did not have the resources to employ others to plough my land, and I decided to give it a go myself.” Laxmi has proved that she is equal to any man when it comes to

hard work.

At first when she began tilling the land, men used to jeer at her and some also used to say that she was demeaning them. The same menfolk who used to abuse her now praise her, said Laxmi.

Purna Kala BK at Share-8 has been ploughing her fields for five years. She said she was forced to do so after her husband went to India for a job and settled down with an Indian women there.

Purna lamented that not only her husband but also other family members have neglected her.

Nanda Kala Pun of Sahare Simghat also trudges behind the plough because there is no male member in the family to do the needful.

Man Kumari Sunar said she had started ploughing from the tender age of 15 as her father was a drunkard and her brother and sister were too young. In Melkuna and Sahara VDCs, innumerable women of all age groups can be found ploughing the fields.