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(NEPAL 12)






Hindu, Brahmin




Bansbari VDC, Sindhupalchok


April 1994


This is a good interview with an articulate narrator who shares his views and experience on education and village development. He is educated and explains “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.” He doesn’t think getting an education should mean giving up farming: “…our forefathers were farmers and we are still farmers... I had to look after my farming all by myself so I couldn't continue to study... 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...” He hopes that his sons 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.”

The narrator is a member of eight different committees and a lot of the interview focuses on the operation and problems of these various local committees - for education, goat raising, health, forest conservation, etc. For example, the narrator describes in detail the problems that occurred when the goat development committee grew too big – “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 savings”. After the failure of this committee, they returned all the money and started again with a smaller committee, where there was more enthusiasm and excitement, and it was easier to organise meetings, collect money, take decisions etc. As a result of the committee, there was “a rapid growth in economic development after one and half years”. He believes that committees are very important for the healthy functioning of the local community – “our motto is the service of the community. The community needs the committee and vice versa. That is why if we run this committee well, it can do a lot of things to the community”. He believes that bringing electricity to the community would make such a difference that people would stop “dreaming” about migrating to the cities.

detailed breakdown

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Section 1-3  Family background. His and his son’s education. Quality of education is poor in eight local schools. Most parents are illiterate and there is no one to monitor the quality of education. Fewer girls attend high school, because "... when the girls are 12-15 the people get them married instead of sending them to school." Only 3-4% of students pass leaving exams due to poor quality education and children working in the fields rather than studying.
Section 4-6  Committee overseeing education “should be educated itself. We need a committee which can understand the value of education… There shouldn't be a committee which is politicised like we have now.” Talks about the goat project through a local committee and how it has helped raise incomes. Institutional changes to committee – a smaller committee is “more active and productive.”
Section 6-8  The villagers are also managing their own preventative health centre. Village has adult education programme, focused on agriculture and animal husbandry. Nurseries have opened to supply feed for animals. Village has health centre, and family planning programme. Trying now to expand clinic and health programmes.
Section 9-11  Every member of forest conservation committee must stand guard in forest once a month. Forest guarded day and night. Programme has yielded no immediate benefits for locals, but should do in 10 years when trees can be cut for profit and money ploughed back into community in form of drinking water or a school. Says villagers should all have fruit orchards so they can be self-sufficient in 10 years. "If we can solve our problems without outsiders' help, then we are self-sustained.”
Section 12-14  Castes live like brothers; need each other; no discrimination. Road has eased transport problems, but has also thrown porters out of work. Contrasts government and NGO projects; says government ones are characterised by negligence and poor standards.
Section 15-16  His ideas for eradicating poverty. In terms of his village their organised work has benefited them 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.” Village also needs good school and assistance from the government to create local markets to sell produce. Hopes for his own future and that of his sons