photo of person from Nepal Sindhulpalchok
Nepal
 
GLOSSARY
Nepal glossary

Ramji

(NEPAL 12)

Sex

male

Age

35

Identity

Hindu, Brahmin

Occupation

farmer

Location

Bansbari VDC, Sindhupalchok

Date

April 1994

 

transcript

Section 1
How many family members do you have?
There are seven in the family; my father, mother, myself, my wife and three children.

How old are your parents now?
My mother is 66 years old, father is 62 years old, my wife 27 years old and the sons are 16, 6 and 3 years old respectively.

Which religion do you follow?
I follow Hinduism; it has been so, since my forefathers.

Why are you a Hindu? Do you have any reason?
My forefathers were Hindu, that's why but I don't know why.

Since when did your family start to live in Dhakalthok?
It has been a long time, maybe a hundred years ago.

Where did your forefathers come from?
Nobody knows for sure. We do not have any proof. But it is said that there was a religious war in Dhakalthok, at that time my forefathers ran away from there and settled here. So the story is, that is why we are called Dhakals.

In which generation did they come here?
It has been a long time, I cannot pinpoint the exact generation but maybe it has been ten generations.

How many of you can read and write in your family?
Except for my mother and the youngest son, we all can read and write.

Where did you learn to read and write?
My father was in the army and there he learnt to read and write. He was already familiar with the letters which he knew in the village from reading the Veda and he learnt to write while he was in the army.

What about yourself? How much have you learnt?
I have passed SLC (School Leaving Certificate) in 2035 B.S.

How much have your sons studied?
My eldest son has just written SLC exams. The second one is in KG in boarding school. The youngest one hasn't started yet.
Section 2
Why did you study? Do you think that you can gain something from studying in the school?
I studied in the school to learn to read and write only, otherwise I could have looked for a job after I finished school. I went to school because I thought maybe I could bring a change in my life and work, life in health, agriculture and in the community as well.

What is your aim in educating your children?
The government has called for educating all the children and it is the same in the international context too. If the children are educated they can help the country in its development, in the field of agriculture also there are new methods and techniques, so if they want they can learn about it and can do better farming.

If your children can't get the appropriate jobs after their education, how would you feel?
I don't think they should get the job according to their qualification because I am a farmer, our forefathers were farmers and we are still farmers. I am still farming even after I have done SLC otherwise I could have looked for a job too, lots of my friends have jobs now, but there isn't much difference in our living conditions. I work in the fields and for the community and they work in their offices but there aren't many differences.

Why didn't you go for higher studies after passing SLC?
I had to look after my farming all by myself so I couldn't continue to study, it was difficult for me to go to Kathmandu for studies. So I stayed back and farmed and now I am used to it and I started to enjoy working for the village, community and for the school, so I stopped thinking about the education.

How many schools do you have now in this village?
In our village, in the ward we have a primary school and in the VDC we have seven primary schools and one high school all together there are eight schools.

How is the quality of education in these schools?
In my opinion, it is not good these days. The number of students is good and even increasing, but they are not getting as good an education as they should.

Why do you think it is so?
That is because most of us are uneducated, illiterate, so the parents themselves do not know what kind of education the children need, what should the schools be like. There is no one to monitor the quality of school and education. Again the children have to work in the fields sometimes, and they miss the school so they are always lagging behind.

How many percent of people send their children to school in your opinion?
I have found that about 75% of the people of this village are sending their children to school.

In that case, what is the practice of sending the boys and the girls to school?
In this case, people here give priority to farming than to sending the children to school. The children go to school come back immediately after school and go to cut the grass, even the small children cut grass. In the other 25 percent are the Tamangs, Majhi, Kami-Damai are the ones who do not send the children to school. In Brahmins and Chettries almost 100 percent of the people send their children to school.
Section 3
In your villages, do the boy or girl get the priority to go to school?
It is given to the boys. After the construction of the road we have a health community centre in Bahunepati where many foreigners, men and women, come for a visit. So I think it is due to that, nowadays we find people sending their daughters to school too.

In your village what percentage of people send their daughters to school?
There are about 75 percent in the primary school and may be around 65 percent in the high school.

Why are the girls not being sent to school at the high school level?
The main reason being they have to pay the fee in the high school level. Itís not much now but they are quite old too. In our custom the adolescent girls aren't sent out of the house. So when the girls are of 12-15 years of age the people get them married instead of sending them to school.

What is the record of students passing the SLC. from the high school of your village?
The percentage of pass outs from our village high school is very low. I don't know exactly but I don't think it is any more than 3-4%.

What could be the reason behind such a low number of passes?
The main reason is economy, then the quality of education in the school is not good and they do not provide extra tuition. During the holidays the children are busy to work in the fields they do not have time to study at home that is why the results are so poor.

Is it only because of the house work the children have to do, or the school also has something to do with poor result in SLC?
The standard of education of the school is also not up to standard. Due to the poor economic condition of the school there aren't sufficient teachers so the primary school teachers are teaching the secondary level students. That is why, I think only a few students are passing SLC

In your opinion, how can the quality of education in the school be improved?
To do this, the government has to take responsibility, they should provide some aid. Then the school administration has to implement good and strong rules and regulations. The school must be able to have good quality teachers.

What could be the reason the current administration committee is not functioning so well?
This is because the administration committee doesn't know its power and functions.

What can make the administration committee strong and able?
First, the administration committee should be educated itself. We need a committee which can understand the value of education: why do we need education and what they can give to improve the standard of education. With such a committee the standard of education can be upgraded. There shouldn't be a committee which is politicised like we have now.
Section 4
What kind of politics do you mean?
They shouldn't listen to only the party to run the committee. They must know that the committee does not belong to them but it is for all the people, they must be faithful to it and work for the betterment of it, they shouldn't make it a political committee.

How many non-government developing organisations (NGOs) are there in this village?
In our VDC these organisations have been formed. In this VDC only four such organisations have registered in the district office, i.e. Bahunnepati Swastha Sewa Sanchalan Samiti, Samudayik Bikas Samiti with the help of ActionAid. Gaun Utthan Sammittee, Gram Sudhar Sammittee Bahuddensiy. There is another one called Giran Chaur Sudhar Sammittee too.

When were these organisations established in your village?
They started in 2035 B.S., at that time with the advice of the staffs of Bahunnepati Pariwar Kalyan Yojana, they started a development committee for goats. After that there were 4-5 other such committees were established. These committees produced many goats and even supplied them to 26 other districts. It has been running its programmes with its own regulations.

What was the main aim of goat developing committees?
Bauddha Bahunnepati Projects had brought a goat for us and we discussed that this project is not going to give us the goat all the time but one day it is going to phase out then what were we going to do? So instead of killing it we should have a development programme of goats which can be beneficial to all the farmers, with this idea we started this goat development committee.

How many members were there at first?
At first we started with 12 members out of which we had a working committee of 10 members. After sometime we had 40 members but lately since 2 years this committee has been inactive.

Why did it happen to you? What was the reason?
We were inexperienced and the number of members kept increasing. We thought we would benefit with a bigger committee. So we tried to make it bigger and bigger but later we faced difficulties in our monthly meetings and our savings. We were collecting Rs. 2 per person for a month so during our monthly meetings one man had to go around collecting it and took quite a long time. So collection of the money was disturbed and not all of it was collected either. Then we didn't have the budget to run the committee so we decided to return all the money to the members. And now that the committee has been dismissed we are making another small committee again it is regarding the goats; we have decided to have less than 20 members.

What is the main reason behind a small committee?
I think it is more active and productive. I also work in Bahunnepati Swastha Samiti and with the good experience or our old small committee, there was much more enthusiasm and excitement. In the small committee is easier to organise a meeting, to collect the money and to buy a goat, the decisions were made faster and easier. It took very little time to organise the meetings there are many advantages of a small committee.
Section 5
What were the benefits of your small goats development committee?
We had monetary benefits at first. We had a kid six months after we bought a goat and when we sold it after six months we had double the profit compared to the local goats. Then we could sell the goat at the decision of the committee. Both the committee and the people were profiting with this decision. We decided that the seller and the buyer had to deposit Rs. 5 each in the community savings. We made this decision to make the committee as well as the members to be self-sustaining. The productions of the kids also increased in the village. The local goats were sold at 300-350 rupees at the most but we are selling the developed breeds at the rate of Rs. 1200 - 1800 per a goat now it costs as much as Rs. 2200 - 2700.

What is the weight of a hybrid goat of about 6 months?
They are around 22- 27 kgs that the reason.

What difference do you find before and after you had the goats developing committee?
We found a rapid growth in economic development after one and half years. People didn't have to borrow money for Dashain and Tihar (Nepali festivals), if you sold a goat you could easily buy 4-5 sacks of fertilisers. They could sell their rice wherever they got the right price. In Melamchi VDC, also they started the same committee after they had searched. Here in Ward no. 1 and 5 they also formed their committees. So in Kaure, Kubinde VDC of this district also they have the committees. We sold the goats to them also likewise we have sent in other 26 VDC like Ramechhap, Gorkha and Sindhuli etc.

What was the economic condition of the people of this village before the establishment of the committee (Before 2035 BS.)?
It was quite bad, not that bad because the Brahmins and Chettris live here but still there was no profit from the cash crops. Those days people had to beat the paddy, make rice and then take it to Sankhu to sell. We didn't have the system of weighing the paddy then. We had to raise a goat for 2 years so when we sold it the money we got was only as much as it cost us to raise it. The profit we can make now by selling a 6-month-old goat is more than the 2-year-old goat we sold in those days. So the economic condition was quite poor then.

What was the problem in running the committee smoothly?
The main problem was the goat itself. The agriculture adviser of Bouddha Bahunnepati, Ram Baidya, advised us that increasing was not healthy because it brings diseases and physical problems in the breed. We started to follow his advice but we couldn't develop it any further. We ever inquired in his majesties government offices in Bandipur farm. Pokhara and in Lahan but they also couldn't provide us the male goat. After some time we are able to bring a goat from Bandipur and the breeding started to develop, we even exchanged our goats with Bandipur.
Section 6
Why was it difficult for the members to get organised?
The problem was the general members wanted the working committee to collect the money for the savings, but the working committee denied and said it was the members respectively. Also we had discussions and agreements on it and since the committee had too many members couldn't reach to a conclusion or decision so we had to close.

In which committee are you working these days?
These days I am working in 7-8 committees and I work more in the Bahunnepati Swasthya Sewa Samiti. We established that committee in the 15th of Aashaadh 2045 and I've been working there even since. It was registered in the district in BS, 2047 and in 2058 it was registered in the Parishad. Now I am holding a post of Secretary in the committee.

What was the aim of establishing the Bahunnepati Swasthya Samiti?
At first there was Bouddha Bahunnepati Pariwar Kalyan Yojana and they said they were not there for long and had just come to guide us. ďWe are running this Health Centre and hope it will not go back along with us.Ē When they asked us whether we will benefit if the centre stayed here or gone away we said that we needed one. So they told our group to find a way to run it in the future if we really wanted it. So the groups from Bansbari, Melamchi and Phataksila all gathered and discussed and asked them what could we do about it? They told us to make a committee and register it in the district and then register it in the Samaj Kaluan Parisad then they will be able to leave the committee in our responsibility. They also said that other organisation could give us aid or we can even collect donations and run the committee by ourselves so some of who were educated decided the programme was good and to run it by ourselves. There was a problem in our area too, this project was helping the people staying healthy for sometimes and it looked beneficial to the villagers so we decided to keep it and have been running it ever since. Its main aim is preventative rather than treatments.

How many members are there in your committee now?
There are 55 general members and a working committee of 11 members.

What is the motto of your committee?
Our motto is the service of the community. The community needs the committee and vice versa. That is why if we can run this committee well it can do a lot of things to the community.

What do you expect for this committee in the future?
In the future we hope to have a hospital which can cover this whole area. There are many poor and helpless people in this area so the Bahunnepati management committee has passed a resolution to help this community to stand on their own feet.

How do you plan to make this programme successful?
For this we have started a united programme. Keeping in view that the education is the most essential part in development we have started educating the people one year back. With the help of UNICEF and ActionAid we had five sessions of adult education programme and this year we organised 11 of them. We ourselves do not have the resources but we have been able to run these programmes with otherís help. Since there are farmers in this area, we concentrate our programmes on agriculture, disease and treatments of animals and their developments. Keeping in mind that the animals need to feed on grain we opened 50 nurseries to grow local sale grass last year where we train the people also and this year there are 57 nurseries established.
In collaboration with ActionAid and Janawsasthya we have also started a family planning programme, the check up of pregnant women in the clinic, vaccination to the children. In a ward of Phataksila Badegaun and in 2 wards of Bansbari where there are the concentrations of people we have distributed vitamin 'A' and medicines for worms. Along with these, there are day-to-day check ups and treatments in our clinic. In the adult education programme we also have classes on health and diseases where we always stress the saying ' Prevention is better than cure'. Then we have 7 other groups in more populated areas where we have health education programmes.
Section 7
How much money do you have to run all these programmes?
We have 15,000 rupees as our fixed budget and Rs. 60,000 in our reducing fund. We have 3 staff, 1 assistant and 2 peons and the World Neighbour is helping us to pay a staff of animal health and development office. So our budget is about Rs. 2 lakhs (200,000). We sell the medicines and make 15% profit and the patients have to pay Rs. 2 for entrance to the clinic. Which has to be renewed every year and they have to pay the fee of Rs. 2 every time to make the organisation stand on its own feet. And also keeping in mind that the community also benefits with little payments only, we charge Rs. 2 when we check or test the cow dung, this is why we are concentrating our effect on public health and health centres.
To build up another store, ActionAid has given us 1 lakh rupees in aid and World Neighbour has given us Rs. 30 000 we have collected Rs. 7000 in donation and we have to spend Rs. 25 000 from our own budget. We also take fees for the delivery cases and other womenís problems. Within this 3 years there have been treatments of 42 delivery cases, we have found that, the same case costs Rs. 4000 in Kathmandu. The vehicles do not go to Kathmandu even if you want to reserve it, they won't go even if you pay Rs. 2000. So to overcome the problem and expenses we are expanding the hospital building. If we get some aid from international organisations we hope to have five more beds for which we can charge and maintain it. We have many cases of pregnancy and delivery, diarrhoea and vomiting which we can treat accordingly right here. We have a staff in Bahunnepati Bazaar who has been treating many cases even in the night. With these problems in mind we would like to put one staff in the clinic, we are expanding the clinic.

What plans do you have or what are you doing now to make this organisation strong and last long in the future?
For that we have been organising programmes just 2 months ago in 27 - 29 of Mansir we organised a mini lab camp with the help of ActionAid from which we saved Rs. 11,000. We are running the adult education programmes in which two staff are necessary, but now I am working alone from 8 months in the morning to evening we are saving one staff's salary. ActionAid gives 12 litres of kerosene to run a class but from my experience we need only 10 litres in a month so also we are saving 2 litres every month. This way we are saving to make the organisation strong to survivable, all from small project and small savings. We maybe able to save more if we get a bigger project.
Section 8
In future if you cannot get any aid from the other organisations how will you run it?
Now also we are paying for staff by ourselves, now we are selling the medicines very cheap compared to other organisations and Kathmandu - those we could increase in price. We can raise the fee in registration of patients because in Banepa they charge Rs. 8. There is no other place where the people pay Rs.60 to go to Dulikhel so if we charge Rs. 10 they can save Rs. 50 and we can also profit. We have also asked for help to test the blood for malaria in the district public health office. We have requested other government and non-government organisation to help us develop the public health programmes. To have a good budget we are charging for the registration of patients, testing of cow dung and animal vasectomy. The profits we make by selling medicines for humans and livestock and bed charge are other sources of our income the other is we have 55 members who pay Rs. 10 per a year and some donations but the donation is somebody's wish.

What do the people of your neighbouring villages think of your health committee, what is their reaction?
You have some opposition everywhere but most of them say that they have benefited by from our committee. People from Badegaun, Melamchi, Duvbachaur, Jyamire and Talamarang have come here, because they believe the treatment here is better, and go back after treatments. And I have found most of the patients get well after the treatment here.

What are the other organisations in your village except the Health Committee?
There are others like Baun Utthan Samiti, Shanta Bikas Samiti, we have just started a savings programme but there hasn't been any registration so far. We have also started 2 small goat development programmes. So counting all the small and big committees there are all together 18 active committees working in this gaun bikas samiti.

Which are the most successful committees among the 18?
Our health committee has been registered in the district and has been working quite successfully. The others are Baun Utthan Samiti and Shanta Bikas Samiti which have programmes on fruits, forest and nurseries they also have education programmes.

What is the main aim in the establishment of Baun Uttham Samiti?
In the lower region they have transport facility so many organisations come and work there, but here in the higher mountains nobody comes, so the main aim of Baun Utthan Samiti is to establish its office here in the villages and operate from here. I am also a general member.

What kind of work has it done?
It has done mainly education programme, it has its own nursery selling grass and tree saplings. Its main programme is also directed to the environment.

How are they organising these programmes?
With the help of the association of environment journalists they are running the education and environment programme and drinking water project in co-operation with ActionAid. The nursery is also ran with the help of the association of environmental journalists.
Section 9
What have they done for the environment?
They have established a nursery and they make the people aware of environment and its importance in the adult education programme. They also teach how the environment has been deteriorating and how to restore and conserve it. Then they have the forestation programme.

How many members does this organisation have?
There are altogether 96 members if members are in the working committee.

How long ago was it established?
It was registered two years ago, we just had a general meeting.

What changes did this organisation bring to this area?
There is a little change. Before, there was Shanta Bikas, it had a nursery. It was not registered and the Banded Bahunepati project was helping it. But now that project has been phased out, so there is no one to work in the nursery and it was closed. After the Gaun Utthan Samiti was registered and opened the nursery, this Samiti was able to run the nursery because it was registered. The nursery was closed because it was dependent to others but now we are running it by ourselves and it has been successful.

What is the total budget of this organisation?
This Samiti is new and it hasn't organised that many programmes so it's total budget is very little. The association of environmental journalists had given Rs. 64,000 but it had to be spent on it's own programme. So I think they have a total budget worth of Rs. 30,000 including the cash and its assets.

What kind of plans and programmes do you have to maintain it?
They have a nursery so in the future they plan to produce saplings of fruits. They can sell seeds and the saplings of fruits and make some money and after that they have all kinds of projects in mind.

For whom does this organisation work?
They work for others. It has its programmes in Sindhukot, Melamchi, and Bansbari VDC. It has small groups which can save too. They are also training people and have meetings to increase the number of members in those groups.

What organisations do you have regarding the forest and environment?
We have a forest conservation committee with the advice of the forest division and there are 127 houses and families as consumers. We have a working committee of 19 members who collect Rs. 10 from each member every year. The working committee has a meeting every month. Each consumer member has to stand guard to protect the forest, so I also have to do that duty, everybody has to attend once a month. That is why our forest conservation project is successful. This programme is like giving the key to a thief, it is very good permission, so whenever the needs be, we can use the fallen trees and branches but the committee has to decide on it. It has become very easy for us with this decision.
Section 10
How long has it been since you established this organisation?
It has only been one and half years but there has been a lot of improvement.

What is the budget for the conservation of forest right now?
Up to now we have only Rs. 1,500 to 1,600. We made a letter pad for the office and we had to spend some money for the stationary. We have also spent for the notices in other places. We are working on it so there is not a big budget.

What kind of rules and regulations do you have to run this programme?
The main regulation is that everyone must stay on guard in turn to protect the forest. Except for the consumers, no outsiders can take anything from here. The consumers can use only the bushes and shrubs as firewood. The consumers have to pay Rs. 2 and for each bundle they have to pay for Rs. 2 again. That is to make the organisation strong. If someone needs wood to build a house, if his house is burnt or collapsed, the committee gives the decision and the consumer has to pay Rs. 10 for each beam which will be deposited in the committee. All the consumer members should participate in the forestation programmes. Last year we planted 1200 saplings. This year also we have plans to cut some trees and plant some more saplings.

How do you control the theft in the forest?
There is no chance of such theft because we stand guard in the night too. Our members have not cut any trees yet. If some outsider cuts the trees we put him in the custody of the forest department which will do the needful thing according to the law.

From where did you get the inspiration of making the forest conservation consumer's committee?
It was from ActionAid and the Agro-Forestry Foundation. From its programme my friends were taken on a tour to Palpa district and Pokhara, there we saw a committee at work. Then a ranger came to our villages to see how we can conserve the forest. When we told the ranger that we had learnt from our tour how to conserve the forest and we would like to do the same, he agreed and told us that the government was also for it. Now our main adviser is the forest department.

How have you benefited by conserving the forest?
There haven't been any immediate benefits, everybody is losing now. We have to buy the firewood from outside, once it was deforested so there are not any woods and leaves. The saplings are still small, except for the firewood problem everything is all right. There is no forest so there is no wood but still we are hoping to benefit after 10 years.

After ten years what do you think the benefit would be?
After ten years we don't have to cut live trees for the firewood, we can fulfil that by getting dried up branches and fallen things, we will have enough fallen dried up leaves. We hope to make doors and windows for a house when we can cut the tree after ten years, but now we cannot solve this problem even if we cut ten trees.

What do you aim to do by the profits you can make from the trees after ten years?
We will definitely have profits which we have decided to deposit in the committee's account, which will definitely make us strong, then we can contract something concrete for the 127 consumer members, like we can work on drinking water or a school. These are just our plans but we haven't really decided on it.
Section 11
What is development in your thinking?
The development has to be in forest development, because without its development we have not been able to do anything. We have seen that only with the growth of trees we can earn some money so that we can repair and maintain the water taps and schools.

What do you expect after you have the taps and the schools?
When we have the school the children can study more compared to old days. Nowadays our children sit on the floor in school, maybe then we will be able to make furniture for them. Though we are getting aid from organisations like ActionAid it is not sufficient, some children are sitting on the planks. Though the floor has been getting cemented, the project may phase out without completing the work. In such cases the money earned from the forest can help. People can have good drinking water available in the homes, so it can make people healthy this is our wish.

Like the people being healthy with good drinking water, what do you expect the children will do after going to school?
The policy, nationally and internationally, of good health and education is now all over the world, so we expect our children to understand these things and follow it.

What do the villagers think or dream about?
The villagers', our dream is the development of the forest and the education and environment of the school must be good. We must have good drinking water, everybody should utilise the water and the surplus water should be used for irrigation. We have the canal but we must utilise the water. Many of the villagers are doing fruit farming so we hope for better farming, we have junar (?) and coffee as a cash crop which is newly started. We almost have fruit orchards so that in ten years we all will be independent and self-sustainable.

What will happen if all the villagers are self-sustainable after ten years?
Then it will be a great help to our country for the development, we can be one of the founders. Because our organisation can go to other places to work, the aid and money we get now from the government can be used is other areas, then those areas can also get a chance to develop.

In your opinion what is self-sustainable or independent?
It is like when we do not have to ask for help and aid to make or maintain or repair the drinking water supply and schools. Instead we can do all these things ourselves using our own resources, then we are independent, if we can solve our own problems without outsider's help then we are self-sustainable.

How is the friendship among the people of this village?
It is very good here. Though we have many partners in this village, in a democratic way the friendship is good, because you can find all of us in all kind of festivals and ceremonies. There are 114 houses out of which 14 are of Kamis, so except the Kamis we all are Chhetris and Bramhins get together on any occasion. Like a house got burnt down just recently and we all helped the family with clothes, foods and grains enough to support them until the next crop [there can't be any maize until Bhadra]. Regarding friendship our unity is very good.
Section 12
How do you settle the fights or the disputes of your village?
Till now there havenít been such cases in our village. In small arguments like the fights for water or when someone's crop is eaten by other's animals, for those sort of things, the wise and old men of the village, the ward members and the learned all of us get together and settle them. We don't tell such matters out of our village.

If you have to go out of the village to settle the disputes where do you go at first?
First we go to the VDC office, if it can't help then we go to the police office if it is a police case. Then only we go to the District Administration Office.

Have you had any cases for which you had to go to the District office?
Till now we haven't had cases, but there are some cases the VDC office had to deal with.

What kind of cases were those?
Those cases were of fights, theft and some were land disputes.

What were the main reasons that those cases couldn't be dealt with in the VDC office?
It was so because the cases were linked with the persons who lived in other villages and some because of the fight between different castes but in our ward there were no such cases as all belong to the same caste.

In your village what kind of relationship do the Brahmin, Chhetris and the Kamis have?
The relationship among the three castes is like that brothers have. The Kamis need the farmers and vice versa. The Kamis don't have enough land so they have to make equipment for us and we have even suggested them to get educated. We have given the priority to the Kami village for the adult education programme. We had a project of drinking water, at that time we even produced them with pipe lines and taps. We have made them members of the working committee and the consumers' committee of the forest committee too. We have urged them to work for the school also. They have been coming to work for the canals we haven't discriminated them in terms of castes.

If someone from your village needs a loan, where do they go to borrow it?
Five years back we used to borrow from the merchants. Now we send them, most of them to the bank for the loan. Since the interest is low in the bank, many people go there. People take loans for the goats and the buffaloes to get fertilisers for the short term for rice fields and they pay back after they sell the rice.

How many houses did you say you have in your village?
In ward no. 4 there are 114 houses.

Out of 114 houses how many of them have the land big enough to feed them throughout the year?
There are about 100 houses which have such big lands. There are 14 houses of Kamis and 1-2 of Bhujels. There are some Kamis who have enough land, but those with small lands also don't have to borrow much, maybe they borrow for one month in a year, but otherwise they also have quite enough to feed on.
Section 13
How do they manage to eat in that month?
That month they work for others, they work in the fields of other people and bring wheat to eat.

Since when did the 100 houses of your village start to have enough grain for 12 months?
Before the year BS. 2022 most of the villagers didn't have enough to eat. Almost 5% of the people were not able to feed themselves when we didn't have the chemical fertiliser. The main reason of better harvest is the chemical fertiliser, then we had a goat development programmes and now people can sell the milk, so it began after 2022BS.

Now your earning has improved so what do you do with the income?
Those who have earned more have bought land in Kathmandu and built houses and those with lesser income have bought more land in this area. Some are raising buffaloes and goats and selling the milk, in this way the people are improving their living standard.

What is the main reason the villagers are making houses or buying land in Kathmandu?
They are doing it because of high profit margins. They profit more by selling the land in Kathmandu than selling the land here. Those who have houses get the rent from them, they can live on farming here and save the rents. They can use that money for marriages, Bratabandha (rite of passage marking the entry to manhood) and even to buy more land here. That is why people are more interested to buy more land and build houses in Kathmandu.

When was this Helambu road constructed?
Around 2046 the vehicles started to come up to Melamchi. The bridges were built in 2046. Then the transportation is regular since 2047.

Where did the people of this area go for shopping before the road was built?
In those days people used to go to Sankhu and some went to Bhaktapur and now after the road was built people go to Banepa and Bhaktapur.

What are the benefits to the people brought by the road and transportation?
With the road, it has become easy for the people to go to Kathmandu. It is easy to go to District Headquarters if they have some work. It is easy to sell the local products, such as potatoes, rice, maize and millet etc. Before the goods had to be arrived up to Lamidanda to take them to Sankhu, now you don't have to carry at all. It has also become easy for us to bring salt, fertilisers, tin corrugated sheets and other construction materials for the houses from Kathmandu.

For those people who don't even have enough food for 3 months, those who do not have land, how have they benefited by the road?
Those kind of people haven't benefited at all. Before they used to carry our goods to and from Sankhu and earn wages, but now they can't get that work so people are out migrating to cities or going higher up to Helambu in search of work. So their economic condition or the living standard has gone down.
Section 14
What do you think of the projects and plans of development of His Majesty's government?
I have found a big difference in the projects run by the government and the other organisations. There is too much negligence and the works are done very slowly in the government projects and the works are also not up to the standard. The cement which is used in the construction of roads and bridges is not useful, maybe it is because the overseer who stays in the district headquarter, comes here only 1-2 times in a month and he won't be able to check the quality.
The NGO run projects have staff who work everyday, they are here with some goals, they concentrate their projects in a limited area. It is seen that the works done by NGOs are of good quality and long lasting. The government works are not durable. In my experience I don't think they are that durable. The main reason for this is they depend on others, like the government is dependent on staff and the staff to contractors. As long as the works are done in contracts they won't be good quality. In my experience, the Helambu road, it is built just below my house, it is not built up to the standard. So my friends and I complained to the engineer in the government office. The mixture of cement was very poor it was full of sand. The gravel underneath the tar is supposed to be 16 cm thick but it was only 9-10 cm thick and there are other such cases. We even complained to the C/D and they came and ordered for the reconstruction of the walls. Most of the works done by contractors are failures, it is because the administration of the government is not strong.

Compared to Panchayati System and the Multi Party System what difference do you find in the government administration and work?
As we hear on the radio nationally there are more project and plans in motion. We do not know how much they have worked. In this area I haven't found any changes, because we still have the same numbers of schools, bridges and the roads that were built before, there has not been any construction since. We are still running the school the same way we used to. The road is the same - full of potholes. We are demanding for the bridges and we are still demanding, the bridge hasn't been built till now. The standard of education has gone down, we do not have sufficient teachers, but we do hear on the radio about future plans. We don't know what is going to happen in the future. Lately there hasn't been any work in this region.

What do you think of the rules of the government on the NGOs?
It is not that we haven't had benefits from the multi-party system, before when we wanted to develop in a co-operative manner it took us 17 years to register our Bahunnepati Health Committee. Now, if 20-25 of us want to register an organisation the government has made it easy and possible. I have recently attended a meeting organised by the government and international organisations where I learnt about the children's rights act which was passed two years ago. You can see the government's weakness, especially on communications. The government decided out the allowances of parliament members and they have been getting it since two years ago, that we heard on the radio. But the law like the children's right is not yet made public, itís been two years already.
Section 15
In your opinion, what kind of policy should our government have for the upliftment of the poor?
For the uplift of the poor the government must have a policy or a law to work in a co-operative matter. They shouldn't just say it. The poor must be given more aid, they must get the fertiliser in a subsidised rate. The main problem of the poor is not getting the good standard of education. The farmers are always lagging behind. The children of the rich study in boarding school, they get good education in the city, which the villagers are deprived of. They also must get good education. Everybody must be able to work whether it is in the government or semi-government offices or the international projects. The government must survey and allocate the area to work and they should work wherever they are allocated, not only in a place with many facilities but in the remote area as well. The government must survey nationwide and then make the organisations of the regions work according to the survey, they must have a clear idea of the needs of the region. The government must have a clear and strong direction.

What is the main problem of your village?
We have worked in an organised manner in this village and we have been benefiting from it also. In comparison with the surrounding area we have developed a lot. We have a road, but the problem here is electricity. If we have electricity we will stop dreaming about making it to the city. We have enough water for irrigation, the other problem is we do not have good quality education, we need a fully government owned school.

In your opinion what kind of action can solve the problem of poverty?
To solve this problem the government must introduce and make the people aware of productive (economically profitable) programmes. The government must make the market available to sell the local products. With this programme the poor will definitely come out of their poverty, like if I go away and learn to make carpets and sweaters but when can I sell it if I make the same products by myself. There are lots of ready-made sweaters in competition. There are many imported goods. So there can never be economic uplift. First the people should be made aware of skills and economic improvement and the market must be available. If we produce 20 sacks of potatoes we cannot sell them. 20 sacks is not enough to make a trip to Kathmandu, even if we take it, it will be expensive and no one will buy.

What kind of profitable programmes would be suitable for the village?
According to the climate, culture and customs of this village, the vegetable farming is suitable. We have the land, the road and enough water for irrigation. So if the government can make the market we could sell our vegetable products.

For those who do not have land, what sort of programmes would be suitable?
For those people knitting and sewing is suitable. There are lots of garment factories in Kathmandu, I sometimes go there and look and I see many Indians working there. So instead we must have our people trained in sewing and if a person wants to open a factory in Kathmandu he should be sent here and use our manpower. If the government makes such a policy, I am sure, the people of remote villages will also profit from it.
Section 16
In your life, which is the day you suffered the most?
When I used to go around in social works I had suffered a lot. But the most memorable is the one when my first wife - I had two wives - died in a delivery case in Thapathali Hospital in Kathmandu. Due to that case, I am now working on the Health Programme.

Which is the happiest day of your life?
It was the day when I walked in three hours, it was from four and half hours to six hours walk, to Chautara district education office and brought a temporary permission for the Jalpa Madhyamik Vidhyalaya of Bahunnepati.

What is the last wish of your life?
My aim or wish is to work for social welfare throughout my life I would like to change some customs or improve them.

What do you want your sons to be in the future?
I wish they will get a good education and become experts in health, agriculture and construction, so that they will be able to help me to develop our organisations and villages.